Schools around Adams 50 rapped, sang, danced, created and celebrated the International Day of Peace in September; a day devoted to the ideals of peace between nations and peoples.
“Peace Day” was brought to D50 in 2005 by teachers who wanted to find a way for students to express their feelings about their world and lives.
"Peace is caring for each other; Peace is friendly," said second grader Johanna Duran of Hodgkins Elementary.
Johanna is what’s known as a “Peace Leader” at her school and with the help of Maureen Schroth, students held an assembly to share the importance of a day dedicated to harmony.
They also made colorful peace pinwheels which decorated the school’s exterior.
While the younger D50 students were learning about the significance of Peace Day at their buildings, artists from Westminster High School spread the message through chalk art in downtown Denver.
After seeing the award-winning work the Westy Art club did last spring during the Denver Chalk Art Festival, organizers from Jovial Concepts contacted Westminster High School art instructor Michelle Music to see if she could coordinate plans for a large mural on the 16th Street Mall. Music reached out to the Art Club, Peace Jam and the Yearbook Club to find participants.
“This is a really unique and a high profile event in Denver,” said Music. “It is quite remarkable that we were asked to participate.”
The mural itself used the image of Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese opposition politician who used non-violent, passive resistance to protest against her government and was placed under political house arrest for 20 years.
She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and Forbes Magazine recognized her as the 61st most powerful woman in the world.
The mural included a quote from Kyi that read, “Peace doesn’t mean only putting an end to violence or war, but to all other factors that threaten peace; such as discrimination, inequality, and poverty.”
With the help of students, staff and some lunches donated by The Corner Bakery, the mural was completed in just three hours, measuring 12x6 feet.