Colorful pinwheels are spinning on the lawns outside Tappan Zee High School, South Orangetown Middle School and Cottage Lane Elementary School today, in celebration of the International Day of Peace.
This district-wide art installation (William O. Schaefer Elementary School’s “planting” is September 28), is part of the Pinwheels for Peace global art and literacy project. The idea originated with WOS art teacher Elizabeth Piteo in 2016 and all buildings now participate.
“I first heard about the program through Liz (Piteo) and loved it. It promotes peace and kindness, and as teachers, that’s what we’re all about,” noted TZHS art teacher Donna Grasso. Students in all five of the courses that she teaches got involved this year.
At South Orangetown Middle School, the initiative has spread beyond the art department. World Language teacher Marie-Laure Spatz, and Technology teachers Lou Chugranis and Kerry Beckmann, also had students engaged in the project. “The purpose of art is to make a social statement. This effort is expanding because people want to spread goodness,” observed SOMS art teacher Tatiana DiPierno. “Knowledge that in Russia and China today, there are kids this age doing the same thing, is exciting and inspiring.”