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Porter Ridge Elementary celebrates International Day of Peace

Porter Ridge Elementary students enjoy showing off their flags and posters about peace around the world in celebration of the United Nations International Day of Peace on Sept. 21, 2010.

Porter Ridge Elementary School students joined millions of children around the world September 21, 2010, celebrating the United Nations International Day of Peace.

Students at the school listened to poems on the morning announcements for several days, written by children in other countries and stories read by principal Wanda Stegall about peace. Second-grade students in Lauren Fenimore sang, “Let There be Peace on Earth,” on the morning broadcast.

“We hope it helps students think about other children in their class, in the community and around the world – how they all experience the same kind of feelings,” Stegall said. “I hope they learn we need to respect each other. There are always different kinds of events and activities that we do, but I think this one is so relevant that they will carry something from this more than some of the other things we might do.”

Each class at the school took a country and represented that country in drawings and posters that were displayed during a school-wide parade led by Stegall around the school. Kindergarten students each wore different colors to represent a rainbow, while students from other grades carried flags, posters and paper doves they had made.

Cindy Chandler’s AIG students created a Peace Tree, complete with famous quotes about peace that were attached to the tree’s limbs.

The idea originated with school counselor Nan Sanders who researched the day and offered suggestions for what each grade level could do to take part in the celebration.

“I’ve read about other schools doing this and I wanted to do it here,” Sanders said. “We kept it very simple and the kids just took off with it. It’s been awesome.”

This year’s celebration marks the 28th annual United Nations International Day of Peace, with the first occurrence being Tuesday, September 21, 1982.

The United Nations unanimously adopted September 21 as an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence. It’s not only about creating peace between nations; it’s also about non-violence in homes, communities and schools.

According to the UN International Day of Peace web site, the goal is to introduce 3 billion people to Peace Day by 2012.

The celebration went so well, Stegall said she hopes to make it an annual event. Next year, Saunders said she would like to also honor American servicemen during the event.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Photos by: Deb Bledsoe and Arthur Rogers, UCPS Visual Communications Coordinator
Video by: Don Mace, UCPS Web Communications Coordinator
Posted: Sep 22, 2010 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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