SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- St. Bartholomew Academy (2032 Westfield Ave., Scotch Plains) students in pre-K through third grade took part in an international art and literacy project, “Pinwheels for Peace” to recognize International Day of Peace on Saturday, Sept. 21. The students planted pinwheels in front of the Convent on the Academy campus in a celebration of a week spent focusing on peace and what that means to the students.

The UN founded “International Day of Peace” in 1981 to honor the establishment of the U.N. Assembly. Today, it continues as a day of reflection upon the power and meaning of peace across humanity. “Pinwheels for Peace” is an art installation project started in 2005 by two art teachers from Florida. The project is designed to allow students to express their feelings about what is happening in the world and in their lives.  In its first year, groups in over 1,325 locations throughout the world were spinning approximately 500,000 pinwheels on Sept. 21. Last year, in its tenth year, over 4 million pinwheels were spinning in over 3,500 locations, including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa, and South America.

In the days leading up to planting their pinwheels, teachers led discussions about the concept of “peace” in their classrooms. Then the students created pinwheels and on the petals wrote or illustrated what they thought peace meant to them.  Their thoughts included “calm,” “quiet,” and “happy. The spinning of the pinwheels in the wind spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world!

St. Bartholomew Academy is a Catholic elementary school with grades pre-Kindergarten through eight. The school was founded in 1950. The Academy is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools. Today the school has approximately 215 students and is a thriving education institution dedicated to academic excellence in a value-forming environment.