EAST COUNTY — Nine-year-old Emily Chance couldn’t erase the excitement from her face as she and a group of girls rallied around the front sign for their school, Gene Witt Elementary School.
As cars and buses rolled into the parking lot Sept. 21, the girls, members of Girl Scout Troops 812 and 136, planted “pinwheels for peace” for drivers-by to see, as well as a sign promoting the day as International Peace Day.
“I think it’s important to spread peace around,” Emily said after placing a pinwheel in front of Gene Witt. “(Peace) means you should be kind and treat someone as you want to be treated.”
Eight-year-old Brooke James agreed, adding she hoped the pinwheels would help fellow students remember to be loving and giving and share with each other.
“I thought they were really cool,” she said of the project. “We got to put them at the front of the school for everyone to see.”
Pam Kayser, leader for Junior Girl Scout Troop 136 and Girl Scout Troop 604, said the idea for putting out pinwheels for International Peace Day was included in a book the Girl Scouts use as curriculum material. She began campaigning to do the project locally, and other groups joined in, including Kathy Davis’ Brownie Troop 812.
“It’s to serve the community,” Davis said. “My girls loved the idea. We decided to tag along and be part of it.”
Girls in Junior Girl Scout Troop 469, who all attend Willis Elementary School, also participated in the project. They made pinwheels, which were put out in front of Kids R Kids, where their troop leader, Misty Torino, works and where the troop has its meetings.
The girls, Torino said, are earning patches for the project.
“It was really fun, and it really represented the peace in the world we need,” Misty’s daughter, Samantha, said. “There are bad people in the world, but you go past that. When you think about peace, you think about the good in people.”