Elementary School and Otisville Elementary mark International Peace Day and its connections to kindness


Minisink Valley Elementary and Otisville Elementary school marked International Peace Day with activities to reinforce the concept of peace and its connections to kindness.

To mark the day while school is in session, students also carried classroom-made pinwheels to equally mark the international “Pinwheels for Peace” Project, where people worldwide display pinwheels as a visual public statement about peace. Pinwheels are often used to mark International Peace Day because a pinwheel is a childhood symbol, reminding people of a time when things were simple, joyful and peaceful.

At the Elementary School, The kindergarten team hosted its first “Day of Peace” gathering by the kindergarten playground, led by master of ceremonies and kindergarten teacher Karen Ruoti.

Leading up to the gathering, students read about what the word “peace” means. They were taught how to introduce themselves to someone they don’t know and then give that person a compliment, all while holding their personally decorated pinwheels. Students were also guided on how to march with their pinwheels.

At Otisville Elementary, a “welcome back to school” outdoor K-5 assembly was held where students had an opportunity to display their pinwheels in the breeze.

Students sang songs, and recited a Peace Pledge led by art teacher Kara Welsh:

“I pledge to use my words to speak in a kind way
“I pledge to help others as I go through my day
“I pledge to care for the Earth and recycle each day
“I pledge to show respect and compassion each day
“I pledge to do my part to promote peace each day.”  

Later, Principal Julia Downey acknowledged two students for their recent acts of kindness:

  • Fourth-grader Quinn Lattimer, whose family donated school supplies at the beginning of the year for those in need.
  • Third-grader Amelia Hangas, who suggested to her mother that bringing donuts to the school’s office staff would  brighten their day and “fill their buckets.”

Otisville’s year-long school theme continues to be “Be a Bucket Filler,” The theme’s purpose  is to improve social and emotional learning. It is based on a simple concept where everyone has an invisible bucket with the singular purpose of holding good thoughts and feelings about ourselves. When people are happy and good to others, their buckets become full.

The United Nations’ International Day of Peace is celebrated on Sept. 21 each year to recognize the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace. The International Day of Peace is also a day of ceasefire – personal or political.

See more photos on the district’s Facebook page: