Pinwheels share East Moline students’ peace plans, prayers

By: Photo for The Catholic Post by Robin Heiar

EAST MOLINE — Visualizing peace just got easier, thanks to Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy here.

At an outdoor all-school assembly to start the day Tuesday, the academy’s pre-school through second grade students planted 85 pinwheels they created in art class. One side of what began as a square piece of paper features student artwork, while the other is the student’s personal message of peace.

For example, pre-K student Isaac Tubs pledged to “Say nice words.” The message of Mayra Gutierrez, second grade, was “Don’t tell secrets about people.”

“Pinwheels for Peace” is an international art and literacy project begun by two art teachers in Florida nearly 10 years ago. Designed to be done near Sept. 21, the International Peace Day, the project last year resulted in more than 4.5 million pinwheels spinning in 3,500 locations.

At Our Lady of Grace, the project took on a faith element.

“As a Catholic school, we say their wishes for peace inside will twirl and travel up to God,” said Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB, art teacher. In addition, the entire student body — led by Scott Turnipseed, principal — prayed the peace prayer of St. Francis during Tuesday’s assembly. They also recited the school pledge, which is as follows:

“Today is a new beginning. I pledge to be responsible for my learning; to be and always do my best; to be respectful to myself and others; to be honest and truthful. As part of the Our Lady of Grace family, I will help keep my school clean and model good citizenship. When the day is done, I will take knowledge, wisdom and truth with me to help make the world a better place. Amen.”

(More photos from the celebration have been posted to The Catholic Post’s page on Facebook.)

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