Colorful pinwheels popped up around campus as Punahou students commemorated the International Day of Peace.
First celebrated on Sept. 21, 1982, the annual event was declared by the United Nations’ General Assembly as a way to commemorate and strengthen the ideal of world peace. Children around the world mark the day, including at Punahou, where peace was a topic in Chapel and in numerous Junior School and Academy classes.
Students in many grade levels participated in the Pinwheels for Peace project, with its slogan “imagine … whirled peace.” Younger students decorated and folded simple pinwheel templates, while older ones brought their more advanced artistic talents to the project. The pinwheels were “planted” around campus, designed to get folks thinking and talking.
“We love the metaphor of the spinning wheels spreading thoughts and feelings through the wind,” said Academy faculty member Joshua Tollefson, who teaches Arts and Letters, which has a Spiritual, Ethical, Community Responsibility Requirement (SECR).
His students created pinwheels from scratch, and using a combination of text and imagery, developed artwork reflecting their personal feelings about the human condition, and global issues of tolerance and hate, war and peace.
The messages were simpler in the Junior School, but no less heartfelt, as some classes teamed up with their younger buddy classes to make and “plant” pinwheels together.
Other classes marked the day in other ways, such as by planting a tree. Some fifth-grade classes joined together to continue that annual Punahou tradition, helping to plant a royal palm near Wo International Center as part of the international ENO (Environment Online) Peace Day initiative.
No matter the method, the idea was the same: Students planting the seeds of world peace.