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    Commemorating International Day of Peace in Sayville
    October 8, 2015 9:39 pm  
    Commemorating International Day of Peace in Sayville

    by Linda Mittiga, Sayville Schools Public Relations

    “Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly of the United Nations has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.”

    “The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All,” which aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace. The work of the United Nations would not be possible without the initial partnerships that were active in its creation and the thousands of partnerships each year between governments, civil society, the private sector, faith-based groups and other non-governmental organizations that are needed to support the Organization in achieving its future goals.”

    Taken from International Day of Peace 21 September 2015 website: www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/

    For many years, Sayville schools have been reinforcing the message of peace with its involvement in the Shanti Fund, Pinwheels for Peace, International Day of Peace, and a variety of anti-bullying programs. The goal has not only been to bring awareness that we must all work together to strive for peace, but also to remind each and every one of us that “peace begins” on an individual level, “with me,” a concept expressed in the popular song Let There Be Peace on Earth.

    On September 21, 2015, the Sayville Art Department faculty and students at each school building celebrated International Peace Day. No matter what age or grade, the students created messages of peace by stenciling Tibetan Pace Flags, making pinwheels, and devoting special bulletin boards in the schools with artwork.

    This year at the high school, the art classes assembled their “messages” in posters, flags, or posters around the Peace Pole in the courtyard and participated in the social media movement “Who Will You Make Peace With Today” (see Youtube video below) by tweeting, testing, emailing, or contacting those special individuals with whom they wanted to make peace on this special day.

    “For Peace Day at the Middle School,” Art teachers Tiffany Pontieri and Alexandra Peterson explained, “we made an installation inspired by the glass artist Dale Chihuly.”

    The elementary students also took pride in their handiwork. Many created special bulletin boards that displayed their messages and symbols for peace. Lincoln Avenue Art Teacher Richard Michaels had the students make little peace signs and arranged them on a bulletin board to form a large peace sign along with the word peace in multiple languages. At Cherry Avenue, during art classes with Robin Laxton, Mr. Phil Panaccia’s fifth-grade students created a bulletin board with a theme that showed them “raising their hands for peace.”

    Every year for Peace Day at Sunrise Drive elementary school, Art teacher Mrs. Jeannette Ainslie has involved the entire school in a collaborative art project. “Last year,” Mrs. Ainslie explained, “we painted our hands over a giant rainbow, celebrating our uniqueness and brightly colored hearts. This year, I had every child color (with paint and markers) a small wooden stick. They drew; lines, inspiring words, patterns, and shapes.” Mrs. Ainslie placed the sticks on two giant, painted canvases. Included in the collaborative work of art were the words: when we work together, we make the world a more beautiful place. Mrs. Ainslie also did this project on a smaller scale with her classes of art students at Cherry Avenue.

    Thanks to the Art Department’s celebration of International Day of Peace each September, the Sayville students have their minds opened to the awareness that peaceful resolutions can be carried throughout the school year.

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    Story and photos by Linda Mittiga

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