Vail Valley students imagine whirled peace |

Vail Valley students imagine whirled peace

CVR peace pinwheels KA 9-21-11

EDWARDS, Colorado – It seems right and proper that on International Peace Day, the weather was gorgeous.

St. Clare of Asissi art students planted dozens of Pinwheels for Peace Wednesday, on International Peace Day.

It really is an international event.

“I tell my kids that kids all over the world are learning the same things at the same time,” said Kara Hasbrouck, St. Clare art teacher who brought Pinwheels for Peace to the valley said. “It’s a powerful experience for the kids to be part of something so global.”

The students learn a little about aerodynamics, a little about design, some calligraphy and especially about peace.

“You can learn so much through a project like this,” said Sister Rita Rae Schneider, St. Clare’s headmaster.

“Peace is not just with themselves, but with the people around them and the people in the world.”

Hasbrouck taught the last eight years in Charlotte, N.C. She moved to the valley a couple months ago when her husband took a job here. There happened to be a part-time art teaching position open at St. Clare and she landed it.

She saw the pinwheel project grow in Charlotte and is seeing it grow here.

“It’s something I’ll be part of until I’m done teaching,” she said.

Four years after 9/11, Hasbrouck says she noticed more violence creeping into song lyrics and video games.

The Pinwheel Project does what it can to counter some of that, she says.

Pinwheels for Peace is a ground-floor movement spreading only by word-of-mouth and over the Internet.

Pinwheels for Peace started as an art project in 2005 when two art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, of Coconut Creek, Fla., saw it as a way for students to express what they see in the world and in their lives.

In that first year, groups in more than 1,325 locations throughout the world were more than 500,000 spinning pinwheels on Sept. 21.

Last year, more than 3.5 million pinwheels were spinning in more than 3,500 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

“I’ve doing this since the beginning, and I’m proud to be bring the project to the valley,” Hasbrouck said.

International Peace Day and Pinwheels for Peace are not political. Peace is more than the absence of war, Hasbrouck says. Peace can be related to our daily lives, to peace of mind.

“In today’s world, peace needs to become more than just a word,” Hasbrouck says.

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