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Northside Elementary School Unites for Peace

September 29, 2017

Northside Elementary School Unites for Peace 001Students, administrators, faculty and staff at Northside Elementary School dressed in blue on Sept. 25 and gathered outside with pinwheels in hand, to celebrate International Day of Peace.

In commemoration of the day, the school participated in "Pinwheels for Peace," a project started in 2005 by two art teachers in Florida. Schools throughout the world take part in this special project each year, creating pinwheels to spread thoughts and feelings of peace throughout the country and the world.

Facilitated by art teacher Nikki Kessler, this was the first time that the school took part in the activity. During their art class, students received different colored construction paper based on their grade level and were asked to decorate their pinwheels with peaceful symbols, words of inspiration and various designs.

All classes assembled outside and formed an arc with their pinwheels held high to create a rainbow. A photo was taken to capture the school's sign of peace and Ms. Kessler added it to the Pinwheels for Peace website.

Principal Frank Mortillaro spoke to the students about the meaning of the day while special guests Todd Winch, assistant superintendent for instruction, and Frank Creter, director of art, FACS, technology and GC Tech, were seated next to him in honor of the occasion.

"We hope that by having the pinwheels, we make sure that we spread our love for everyone across the whole world, not only Northside," said Mr. Mortillaro. "You always can make a difference."

Through the speech, the students learned various ways that they could make a difference in their own lives. Mr. Mortillaro listed small acts of kindness that they could all do each day and read a former Northside student's poem titled, "It Does Not Matter." The poem focused on celebrating differences and loving one another.

In addition, the students conducted the Pledge of Allegiance and sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "A Song of Peace." One student from each grade level was asked to help release blue and gold balloons with a note attached to them. The notes served as a reminder to whoever finds one of the balloons to promote acts of kindness.

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