Students at The New School Montessori in Cincinnati gathered to feed the Cincinnati homeless and learn about peace. Tommy Thompson, a Cincinnati native, Street Vibes Vendor and member of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition of the Homeless’ Speaker’s Bureau, spoke to the lower and upper elementary students about his personal struggles with homelessness. The students then assembled and donated 300 bagged lunches to Mercy Franciscan at St. John’s Sandwich Window in Over the Rhine.

The school service project was the culmination of a weeklong exploration of
peace. Students reflected on the meaning of peace through dialogue, writing, art, and action. Students began by reading What Does Peace Feel Like? by Vladimir Radunksy. This picture book focuses on exploring peace through all five of our senses. The children, in groups, identified examples of peace using each of the five senses. Children then explored ideas of peace through the four seasons by studying Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Each lower elementary child was partnered with an upper elementary child. The teams of two created a sensorial visual representation of peace for each of the four seasons. These visual representations then became tiles for our peace pole mosaic. The 3-6 pre-primary students explored peace through the five senses and designed glass tiles depicting their own visual representations of peace. These tiles were then suspended from the top of the peace pole. Hanging from the glass mosaic rods are the words, “May Peace Prevail On Earth,” in a variety of languages spoken by members of our school community: English, Russian, Korean, Spanish, French and Hebrew.

The New School Montessori is an independent Montessori educational center. Their mission is to foster the development of the whole child by providing an intellectually rich and challenging curriculum in a safe, caring and joyous environment. All their activities are carried out in an atmosphere of respect for the child and respect for one another. They strive to promote academic excellence, individuality, interdependence, imagination, creativity, inner discipline and self-esteem. The New School Montessori welcomes and honors cultural, ethnic, religious and economic diversity and is committed to teaching peace, conflict resolution and global awareness. Parental involvement is important in all aspects of the school’s operations; thus, we work to cultivate a genuine sense of extended family and community.

The Youth Art Peace Pole Project deeply thanks all the creative children at The New School Montessori, you kids rock!

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Every year on or around Sept. 21st. St. Thomas More Catholic High School, as a school community, observes the International Day of Peace.  Our students are involved with various activities that make a statement about our need for peace and, because we focus on our part as a Catholic community, the need for prayer for peace. As part of this day, our students created pinwheels, designed a mural in chalk outside our school, and designed our Peace Pole.   The Pole was placed in our gathering area for the day and students were asked to sign the Pole (or draw a design) as a signature for their commitment to that prayer for peace.   The Pole was then placed in our prayer garden in the front of our school so that it may be a constant reminder that even though we live in a peaceful area, we can not forget those less fortunate. Below are pictures of some students designing the Peace Pole as well as installing it in our garden.  Thanks for giving us this opportunity.

Kim Thibodeaux
St. Thomas More Catholic High School


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This article was in “The Reflector”, Greenville’s wonderful newspaper:

International Day of Peace observed

“East Carolina University’s School of Art and Design Youth Program displayed a peace pole and peace quilt at Sheppard Memorial Library on Sunday in observance of the International Day of Peace.
The Peace Pole Project, led by ECU’s Cynthia Bickley-Green, a professor of art education, and her colleagues and students at the School of Art and Design at ECU, were picked to represent the state and received a kit created by the Youth Art Peace Pole Project.
The kits allowed art classes to create a one-of-a-kind peace pole. Participants in ECU’s first STEM to STEAM camp, held July 21-25, helped choose words and paint letters that were affixed to the pole.
The campers considered ways that art and science can contribute to building a peaceful world. One side displays the word “peace” in Tuscarora, Spanish, French and English.
The Youth Art Peace Pole Project was started in 2011 at the World Peace Sanctuary in New York.
At the ceremony, ECU art education and youth program teachers and students spoke about the creation of the peace pole and about the peace symbol of the First Nations Wampum Belt at ECU and the peace quilt.
A family program was held in the children’s library following the ceremony.”

To see the North Carolina Youth Art Peace Pole, scroll on down.


Krissi Beeksma from Queen Anne Elementary in Seattle, Washington wrote us to say: “I wanted to let the Youth Art Peace Pole Project know that we had a Peace Pole ceremony to plant our Peace Poles. We made 3 poles with the art work of 4th graders on it. The ceremony started with the principal reading a poem about peace and then the 4th graders sang a song about peace. It was beautiful. they are in the school garden. The art was created by the 4th graders.  Thank you”

Thank you Krissi and the peaceful 4th graders at Queen Anne Elementary.




Several Conway High School Students helped design and decorate this Peace Pole as a symbol for Peace. This Peace Pole was on display in front of the Conway, South Carolina City Building on the International Day of Peace. The students at Conway High School wanted to remind everyone in Conway to take a moment on that day to think about Peace. The students put out numerous signs on the lawn of the City Building with “May Peace Prevail on Earth” and many other great Peace thoughts and actions, including info on the Peace Pole Project. Art Teacher Sandi Snyder and her students at Conway High School said “It doesn’t matter what language you speak, Peace is a universal idea.” Afterwords the SC Youth Art Peace Pole will remain at Conway High as a simple and beautiful reminder of “May Peace Prevail on Earth”.

To see the wonderful video of the South Carolina Youth Art Peace Pole, check out this website:

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Here are some wonderful photos from Art Teacher P. Michael Smith’s Facebook page. You can see more photos of the work done creating the Tennessee Youth Art Peace Pole by these incredible young Tennessee Peace Makers by scrolling down to the Bell Buckle, Tennessee post.









A group of grade seven students at Immaculata High School in Ottawa, Canada gave a dedication ceremony for our very own Peace Pole. The pole will be prominently displayed in our front lobby as a reminder to all students about the need for peace in our schools, our communities and around the world.

May Peace Prevail on Earth!
Vito Michienzi
Immaculata High School

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Oregon Peace Pole at Mosier Community School in Mosier, Oregon.  A teaching artist from Arts in Education of the Gorge worked with the students to create the design that depicts symbols of peace such as music, a rainbow, a dove with an olive branch, and peace tears.  The text appears in English, Korean, Japanese and Spanish to represent the languages spoken by community members in Mosier.

Thanks for the opportunity!  It was wonderful.

Shelley Toon Lindberg
Arts in Education of the Gorge

Oregon Peace Pole


Art Teacher Mary Ann Kostuck and her students at Wahpeton Senior High School created their Peace Pole and displayed it at Leach Public Library. Ms Kostuck is quoted in the article below from the local newspaper, the Daily News, saying “In Wahpeton, all those who wanted to participate did. Each person had an individual thought of what peace meant to them. I thought it was spectacular”.



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May Peace Prevail on Earth

Hello Jim~

I want to share with you a rather unique journey of our Idaho Peace Pole Project.  As you and I have been in touch throughout this process, I’d like to share what I believe has been the heart and soul of this undertaking for me.  Though I have been retired from the classroom as a full-time art teacher for approximately 7 years now, I have remained very active in the schools as a college supervisor for student teachers and as a teaching artist for our state arts commission.  Because of that, I network with a majority of the art teachers around the State and am still in and out of the classrooms presenting art to a number of grades and students.  From the beginning I knew that I wanted the Peace Pole Project to go beyond a single classroom.  I wanted the project to encompass as many students, mostly, adults and also in a variety of venues.  Yes, now more than ever we must bring consciousness to what Peace means in our homes, our schools and communities and our World.  It is imperative that we model and mentor Peace for the children who will be faced with newer challenges in a complex world as they grow up.  It was my quest to engage some of my friends and teacher friends to embrace the project with their students.  As I worked with students and teachers at the elementary level,  I encouraged students to think about what Peace meant to them and what it might look like in their own homes, schools and communities.  We discussed and brainstormed ideas, on the board, topics about respect, bullying, getting along, not fighting, loving others and being tolerant of other people’s views and opinions.  Discussions alone proved to be very valuable.  We wrote ideas on the board and expressions, both made up from individuals and others from famous people, about Peace.  Honestly, I sometimes think we should let the very young rule out world.  They cut to the heart of what Peace means and they are able to explain it in such simple terms, that I wonder why Peace seems to be so elusive worldwide!  The decision was made to create pieces of cloth with messages of what Peace means.  Sometimes students worked on long strips of cloth, coloring the pieces with a method of batik and tie dye.  Other groups of students worked on squares of material or very long cloth banners using paint, pencils, markers.  The Peace Pole Project took me from tiny one room school houses, with student enrollments of 6-10 to larger, traditional schools.  Some of my very dear teacher friends had their students work on pieces of cloth to contribute to the project.  Schools in Idaho from Boise, to Meridian, Horseshoe Bend and Moscow, to one room school houses in Prairie and Three Creek contributed.  Kids were so excited to be a part of something larger, and especially when it was explained that Peace Poles exist all over the world.  At our yearly state art conference I presented the idea of the Peace Pole and at the conference teachers were able to contribute a handmade piece of cloth of their making to the project, and then were able to take the idea back to their classrooms.  And as I am a ‘think outside of the box’ educator, I took every opportunity to take this project beyond borders.  My doctor son went on a volunteer medical trip to Ethiopia and was able to have some of the children there make pieces for the pole, which he brought home to me.  One of my daughter’s went on a mission to the Philippines with her church as part of a mission to help stop human trafficking and worked on several occasions with girls in a safe house on a banner for the Peace Pole Project.  She is also working with young men from a rural group home who will greatly benefit from this project, searching their own inner souls about the meaning of Peace. A friend of mine visited Vietnam and was able to get several people to write messages of Peace to contribute.  My dear friend, a teacher in Guam, is working with her students on a large piece of cloth for the pole.  Even one young girl from Kansas is working on a piece to contribute, because she wants too. Each work of art is lovely and original and so filled with heartfelt ideas about personal Peace and Peace on a larger worldwide scale.  Later this summer, I will assemble my art teacher friends, former students and student teachers, family and any young students who want to help in the creative venture of working collaboratively to take all the pieces created over the past year and construct one very large, eclectic and powerful message:  Our Peace Pole.  The site will be indoors at a wonderful place in Downtown Boise, Idaho called The District.  Their mission is as follows:

“We desire to provide our community with great food, local, freshly roasted coffee, and more importantly, a safe place to be loved. We believe that genuine love is the answer to the problems and struggles of this world, and we aim to make that known by loving each person who walks through our doors. This type of all encompassing love is impossible outside of God’s perfect love, which can, and does, change the world one person at a time.

The District Coffee House is non-profit, and your purchases are helping those in need all over the world. Whether feeding and educating orphans in India, providing medical care for leper colonies, or helping a local family have access to food and diapers—your cup of coffee is providing more than just a caffeine kick, it’s providing hope.”

This is the ideal and perfect venue.  Construction will take place during the month of September and will be on display permanently from September 21, the International Day of Peace/the World Peace Day.  I will provide a plaque describing the project and will encourage anyone visiting The District  to pick up a marker and write their own messages in the year to come about Peace.  And as stated, this Peace Pole Project will act as a “constant reminder… nothing more, nothing less”.  What an honor it has been to be a part of such a wonderful endeavor-  Thanks Jim…


Jennifer Williams

Idaho Teacher of the Year 2002

Artist and Author