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Whirled peace
Five Forks Middle celebrates peace day

LAWRENCEVILLE - More than 1,000 pinwheels decorated with peace signs, smiley faces, flowers and hearts adorned the front lawn in front of Five Forks Middle School on Monday, the day after the United Nations' International Day of Peace.

Students illustrated their thoughts on peace, tolerance and living in harmony, drawing and writing on the 1,200 pinwheels placed in front of the Brookwood cluster school, visual arts teacher Loria Crews said. As the pinwheels whirled, it was as if the students' feelings about peace were being released into the community, she said.

"To me, art is so important, and art documents our world," Crews said. "It's great for me to be able to share that with our kids."

This was the middle school's first time participating in the "Pinwheels for Peace" art installation project, which began in 2005 in Coconut Creek, Fla. Members of the Five Forks Middle Art Club arrived at school early Monday to plant the pinwheels.

Claudia Barnett, the mother of sixth-grade twins who attend Five Forks, said the project provided an artistic outlet for the children and gave them the feeling they were being proactive.

"It makes them feel like they're doing a little bit of their part," Barnett said.

Principal Mary Hensien said the purpose of the project was "to advocate for peace, not just in a time of war, but always."

"(Peace) is obtainable, and it starts within," she said. "If we join together, we can really make peace obtainable."