Cynthia Bickley-Green, PhD, Professor Art Education and Coordinator of the Art Education Area at East Carolina University School of Art and Design in Greenville, North Carolina wrote: We finished our Peace Pole and displayed it in a closing exhibition our K-12 Art Camp in the School of Art and Design at East Carolina University. Although the Peace Pole will  be on view here at the University, we have tentative plans to hold a ceremony on September 21 at the Shepard Memorial Library. The library will temporarily display the Peace Pole in the youth reading room and create a program on peace for a month or more. The library has a Peace Garden.

Campers, parents, and faculty enjoyed working on the Peace Pole so much that we are currently planning to create more durable Peace Pole to be placed in the Peace Garden at the Shepard Memorial Library.

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Approximately 24 campers planned and created this Peace Pole.


Mary Lamson-Burke at Coopersville High School wrote: “The design was a collaboration between our Diversity Club and Sculpture students. It is created out of handmade porcelain clay tiles that were hand stamped with the word peace in many different world languages. The students decided on a beautiful blue color to finish the tiles using their knowledge of color psychology choosing a calm peaceful hue. All students that were involved directly and others are very thankful and proud to be a part of this project.”

This is certainly like no other Youth Art Peace Pole that we have seen.

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The Press Release caption read about Joplin, Missouri: “Carl Junction Junior High students pose with the “Peace Poles” they installed Tuesday in front of the school. The project began last September and was part of an International Peace Pole mission that represents unity and friendship”

Since last September, seventh and eighth graders in the school’s art class and National Art Honor Society have been painting positive and colorful messages, symbols and animals on six Peace Poles. Sunday was the International Day of Peace, so students installed the project when they returned to school Tuesday. Art teacher Elizabeth Cosby said students spent about 175 hours working on the project before and after school, on the weekends and sometimes during class.

“It’s kind of emotional, because I got a chance to see their process, see how much they grew through the process of creating, and now I have several that are at the high school level who participated,” Cosby said. “To see them come back today and be a part of this continues to show how much it still means to them.”

Cosby said some of her students compete in an international peace poster competition, and usually one student wins. But she wanted her students to participate in something together, and the Peace Poles were an ideal project!

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Here are some photos of Hope Chella’s students at Rogers High School getting started on their Peace Pole.

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Art Teacher Yvonne Troxell Lamothe from Donald McKay School wrote: “It is immensely important to make time to talk about peace and community with our students. High stakes testing and corporate driven charter schools all lead to a one dimensional curriculum that does not focus on developmental, student directed learning and social justice. We need to try to reclaim our schools.”



Katie Morris, from  Pauline Central Primary School and her 3rd graders completed their Peace Pole in May, a few weeks before the end of the school year. When we first talked about Peace Poles, we brainstormed a list of things that “Peace Is” and “Peace Isn’t”. It helped students start thinking of ideas. Each student drew out a design for one side of a Peace Pole. When they were finished, I looked for common themes and organized many student ideas into one Peace Pole. There were images of friends, people holding hands, flags to represent peace in the USA, the ocean, and space. When students were asked what they learned, the consensus was that “doing peaceful things is nice, doing un-peaceful things is not”. During our Peace Is/Peace Isn’t discussion, bullying and not including people was brought up as something that “Peace Isn’t”. That was a perfect tie-in to the location planned for the International Day of Peace. Our Peace Pole will be displayed at the Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site. The students, who will be in 4th grade at the time, will get to go on a field trip to the NHS, where they will present a program tying the Civil Rights movement to Peace. This was a very valuable experience for the students, and for me. Other grades are asking if they can make a Peace Pole, too, and I’ve started planning one for my other school, Pauline South Intermediate, for next school year. I also want to mention the languages we chose. English and Spanish were the most obvious choices, since they are the most common languages spoken in our community. Chinese was chosen because the students were drawn to the look of the characters and since it is spoken so far away from us. The unusual choice we made was to include sign language. American Sign Language is one of the most common languages used in our school district, so we decided to represent it by drawing hands signing “Peace on Earth.” Thank you for this opportunity! Katie Morris.

Katie wrote on her fantastic Blog:

Peace Poles are one of the most recognizable symbols of peace and can be found all over the world. The designs vary, but they always share the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in a different language on each side. My students learned about Peace Poles, proposed designs, and helped paint the collaborative project that I designed based on their proposals. This September our Peace Pole will represent Kansas and be displayed at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site before returning to school where it will permanently reside.

I chose 3rd graders to work on this project because they are the oldest grade I see weekly. This would have been better suited to an older grade level but the schedule just wouldn’t allow it! To begin our lesson, we spent a bit of time talking about “Peace”. What is it? What isn’t it? It didn’t take long for students to think of a big non-example in schools- bullying. I hoped that they would think of bullying. We talked about examples of bullying- physical, name-calling, excluding people, etc. I really wanted to make sure that we touched on bullying because I think it will help them better understand discrimination when they learn about the Brown v. Board case that ended legal segregation in public schools. Thankfully the lovely people at the Brown v. Board site and the students’ new principal (they switch schools between 3rd and 4th grade) are excited about planning a field trip to the NHS this September when the Peace Pole will be on display. I only hope it can be scheduled on a day that I’m at the intermediate school so I can attend, too!

After our Peace Is/Peace Isn’t discussion and intro to Peace Poles, the students set to work on their own designs. I gave the students narrow paper to help them think of the vertical peace pole design. They also had transparencies to look at with “May Peace Prevail on Earth” translated into something like 60 different languages. When the drawings were finished, I dug through them looking for designs that stood out with interesting visualizations of peace and for common themes. I sorted the strongest designs into 4 piles that eventually became the 4 sides of our Peace Pole.

Students were invited to add thoughts to the giant paper Peace Sign brainstorming chart sometime during the first class period. It had great visual impact in the hallway and also helped to remind the students and inform others of our preparatory activities. I drew the designs out on our Peace Pole with a sharpie and the students painted with acrylic and a bit of tempera. I called one table up at a time to let students paint. This is where I had to give lots of gentle reminders about not rushing! The ocean section was totally designed by one of the 3rd graders. She made the octopus’ legs spell out “Peace” and the sea horse’s bubbles form a heart. The next photo shows one of the languages we chose. English and Spanish were the most obvious languages as they are the most common in our area. I had asked one of our ELL teachers about languages common in our school district and I was surprised to find out that American Sign Language was toward the top. Of course I realize that someone who uses ASL can likely read English, but we still thought it would be fun to represent sign language on our Peace Pole. Our interpreting para signed “Peace on Earth” for me to photograph and I went from there. It’s hard to get a good photo of the Peace Pole since it’s 7 feet tall and skinny. I merged 8 photos together to show what it would look like flattened out. Hopefully you can enlarge and see some detail. I think that a Peace Pole would be a wonderful addition to any park or garden. I’m going to see if we can get one made at my intermediate school this year!

Jim from YAPPP would like to add one thing: “Katie you are AMAZING!”

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Art Teacher Nicole James of The Downtown School in Des Moines, Iowa had all 97 students in the 5-6 year-old learning groups work on the Youth Art Peace Pole. Each student was given a small area on the Pole to paint an image of peace. The images came together to create a colorful mosaic around the Peace Pole. The languages chosen for the sides of the Pole are languages taught at the school; Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and English. The students were very excited to work on the Peace Pole and are looking forward to seeing it displayed near their school library.

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West Woods Upper Elementary School, Farmington, Connecticut

After the students,  who worked with Art Teacher Marie Ringquist, created their Youth Art Peace Pole the Student Ambassadors of West Woods Upper Elementary School put their thoughts into words:

Lily Alpern, age 11:  It makes me proud to be part of the Peace Pole Project because I feel good supporting world peace.  It is connected to the diversity group beliefs- Never judge anyone.  Keep the world a peaceful place.

Aiden Gravina, age 11: World peace means a lot because of wars.  A lot of people die.  With world peace, there would be less wars, and people would be happy, safe, have jobs, have a better life.  There would be not post dramatic stress disorders.  World peace on earth is very important.

Emma Zenobi, age 11: Creating the Peace Pole makes me feel happy because I feel that I created a monument of Peace.  I painted the words in French,”Puisse la paix regner dans le monde”, and I painted a peace sign. World Peace is important. In school there would be no bullying of fights.  Peace starts here at school.

Margaret Fishman, age 11: I feel very proud to be chosen to design the Peace Pole.  It is very important to have Peace.  I didn’t know about diversity or Peace poles or World Peace, but now I do.  I cannot imagine a world without peace.  I imagine a world with people who are nice to each other, no bullying and being mean to each other.  They will grow up to be good people and very nice to each other.  That is what world Peace means to me.

In addition to these quotes above, Other students shared what they thought on two topics. Below are comments from the Diversity Ambassadors regarding the Peace Pole Project:

Question: How does it make you feel being selected to represent Connecticut as the Peace Pole Creators?

Answers: -It feels awesome because it makes me special. – It makes me feel important because I’m doing something that will help people. – Good, because not many people can be chosen – It feels really exciting and good!  I feel like I am making a big difference to people in CT. – It felt great because I don’t think I’ve been in something so important. – It makes me feel proud and confident.  Why? Because I get to show the world that I believe in me.

Question: What does world peace mean to you?  Why is it important?

Answers: – I just know that it’s important. – Peace means that people get along and are nice to each other.  It’s important because war is really bad. – It means peace between people.  It is important for not fighting. – World peace means everyone is nice around the world and there is no war.  It is important because if everyone is nice in the world, it is a very happy place. – World Peace means everything to me that is because it is so important to other people. – It means to give people what you want so they can do it back to you but with a smile in their faces.

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Every student at Saint Ignatius School in grades K-8 had his/her wish for peace written on the Peace Pole. Over 500 wishes were written on the AL Peace Pole, and the Peace Pole was then displayed both inside and outside of the art room. St. Ignatius School in Mobile, Alabama is a proud participant in this project, and we greatly appreciate the opportunity to express the peaceful wishes of our students.

Jim at YAPPP deeply thanks Lou Anne Strope, Art Teacher at St. Ignatius School for getting all the students involved in this project.

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Jim Halloran, Community Arts Programmer wrote to say:

The Youth Art Peace Pole Project was brought to Arlington County’s Creative Arts Camp in the summer of 2014.  Collaborating with Jennifer Droblyen, we came up with the basic concept of how we would bring the Peace Pole to the 5-8 year old kids in our program.  Each child would use glass paint with a wire armature to create a work of art.   We would then combine the individual pieces on the pole to create a collaborative artwork, much in the way peace functions; all parties must work together in order to create harmony.

We decided on using the theme of nature, more specifically the diversity of insects, which would include butterflies and beetles.  Each vibrant insect would represent and incorporate a language; the message being, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”  Staff member Nicole Manes and I led the two-part project.  We introduced the project and then asked the children about what peace meant to them.  We had answers ranging from “peace and quiet” to a more complex understanding of how countries operate.  Some understood peace through the contrasting lens of war, being its opposite.  I also saw frustration as to how war was possible, when every child here sought peace.  Ultimately, we all had a unique interpretation of the word, with all of us agreeing we wanted peace in the world.

To start the project, we first handed out the precut transparencies.  The kids were fascinated by the diverse languages, and some asked if they could use ones they had cultural connections to.  The paint started to flow and soon they were finished with part 1.  Later, we had another session for touch-ups, as the paint sometimes dries thinly.  After a few days we peeled off the paint from the plastic sheets that held them and attached them to the pole.  The kids were excited to find their art among the group, as one painting often connected to another.

On the last day of camp, we displayed the completed Peace Pole to the family and friends of our small artists.  In the end 30 children and 2 staff participated to create our Peace Pole; all parties’ involved shared pride in its creation, as it was a totally collaborative experience.  The Peace Pole will find a permanent home at Fairlington Community Center, in Arlington VA, in the fall of 2014.

Creative Resources, Department of Parks & Recreation 

Art Studios at Fairlington Community Center

Arlington, VA

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VA Youth Art Peace Pole created from the young minds at the Art Studios at Fairlington Community Center

VA Youth Art Peace Pole created from the young minds at the Art Studios at Fairlington Community Center