Peace was celebrated around the school district last week.

Peace was celebrated around the school district last week.

At least two Dublin schools celebrated the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 as Glacier Ridge and Riverside elementary schools performed peace projects.

Riverside teacher Laura Knape said this year was the first time the second-grade team had decided to celebrate the International Day of Peace that was founded in 2002.

“We were exploring the website explaining the day, and we saw under the ‘kids’ link the idea of ‘Planting a Peace Rock.’ The students really liked it and got the idea that we could leave some in our community garden to share with the community and take the rest home to pass along,” Knape said.

Students decorated rocks with peaceful messages and learned about peace.

“We began the year talking about building community within our classrooms, with discussions about rights and responsibility, as well as conflict resolution and qualities of a good friend (or) classmate,” Knape said, adding that some of the lessons were extensions of Riverside’s rules to be a good friend, be respectful, be responsible and always try your best.

“We spent some time talking with the students, sharing some books, and each student had a chance to share what peace means to them in a piece of writing,” she said. “Some chose to do poems, others lists of what peace is, and some just wrote short narratives. This will also tie in with some of the 9/11 things we discussed a couple weeks ago, talking about peace and ending wars around the world.”

On the International Day of Peace, Riverside students had an opportunity to share their peace rock with other students and sing “Circle the Earth in Peace,” which has words in Spanish, Hindi, Arabic and English.

Peace rocks were taken home and given away to pass on the message of peace, Knape said.

“I asked them yesterday what will happen if they spread their message of peace with a neighbor; then that person shares it with someone else; then that person passes the message on, and so on and so forth,” she said last week. “‘Then everyone will be peaceful,’ one student said. ‘Yes,’ I told them. ‘And it starts with us.’”

At Glacier Ridge, the message of peace could be seen outside the school Sept. 22. For the third year, students there celebrated International Peace Day with pinwheels for peace. About 600 pinwheels formed a peace sign in front of the school, in a design chosen by fifth-graders.

“The students at Glacier Ridge have enjoyed creating their pinwheels and take pride in their effort to spread peace throughout their school and community,” art teacher Kim Cover said.

All Glacier Ridge students drew peaceful images and wrote peaceful words on their pinwheels after learning about peace through poetry and stories.

“One book that we read was ‘Finding Peace,’ by Amy E. Ayers, and it talks about finding your peace,” Cover said. “We brainstorm words and images that were peaceful to them that they could include on their pinwheels. Some of the images are about nature and their families. They used words like love, peace, hope, friendship, caring and joy.”

The pinwheels were in place for one day only because of rain, and students spent their time outdoors, looking at the project.

“We’re spending art class outside,” Cover said. “The students are taking pictures to use in art projects later. They’re drawing what they see or how it makes them feel.”