North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) will celebrate the International Day of Peace on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 10:15 a.m. on the lawn of the Lower School, 148 Main Street, Yarmouth (rain location is the gymnasium). There will be a special assembly recognizing the installation of eight Peace Poles around campus, a presentation of the Lower School’s Pinwheels for Peace, and a Lower School student performance of “Sing Peace Around the World.”
A Peace Pole is a hand-crafted monument that displays the message and prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth” on each of its four or six sides. NYA’s four-sided peace poles were elaborately decorated by NYA students from all divisions. These monuments serve as reminders to visualize world peace. First and second grade teacher Shannon Gallagher and fourth grade teacher Ellen Gagne brought the idea to campus after they stumbled upon a few while traveling through Oregon in the summer of 2016. “We fell in love with them and instantly knew we wanted to bring these to NYA,” said Gagne. The project came to life with the help of Upper School art teacher Colby Myer, Middle School art teacher Tim McMahon ’93, Lower School art teacher Christa Mecham, and a multitude of NYA students from toddlers to twelfth graders.
The goal of the Peace Pole project was not only to create a visual reminder to think, speak, and act in the spirit of peace and harmony, but to build community and school spirit through a cooperative activity. The idea of Peace Poles first came in 1955 from Masahisa Goi in Japan. According to the Peace Pole Project, today there are tens of thousands of Peace Poles on every continent in 180 countries.
Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, who were art teachers at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for their students to express their feelings about the world and in their lives. The project was embraced by their entire school and subsequently by millions of teachers, parents, children, and adults who desire peace in our world. In 2016, over 4.5 million pinwheels were spinning in over 3,500 locations, including the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, Africa, and South America.
North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for toddlers to students in grade twelve. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character, and intellect in its students. For more information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or visit our website at nya.org.