For one day, the pinwheels poked through the fence at Fox Hollow Elementary School, whispering hope for world peace with each gentle breeze.
About 500 students crafted the pinwheels out of bright construction paper and clear plastic straws as part of the Pinwheels for Peace project. Students decorated the pinwheels with peace symbols and hearts, then wrote words like "peace" and "love" in swirly letters and planted the crafts on campus Sept. 21.
"The kids are excited because everybody has something out there," said art teacher Gayle Ratza, who coordinated the effort with her colleague, Joy Reynolds.
Ratza said the pinwheel project — and its messages of love and world peace — tied in nicely with Fox Hollow's emphasis on respect and developing positive character traits.
This was the fourth year that Fox Hollow participated in the Pinwheels for Peace project. It was one of at least a half-dozen Pasco schools that took part in the international event.
Two high school art teachers in Coconut Creek launched the effort in 2005 to give their students a way to express feelings about what's going on in the world and in their lives. The South Florida community quickly embraced the idea and planted about 500,000 pinwheels.
The idea spread to teachers, children and adults around the world who desire peace. Organizers estimate 3 million pinwheels were planted in last year's effort.
The pinwheels are planted each year on Sept. 21, which the United Nations established in 1981 as the International Day of Peace.