Spartans of all ages know that compassion and empathy are essential to the Steward experience. Care and respect for others, and open-hearted service to those in need, bring students together as they engage with the wider community. With a schoolwide theme of service this year, Whirled Peace Day, which honors the International Day of Peace, was made even more meaningful.
Pinwheels for Peace
In preparation for this annual event, students created pinwheels (symbols of peace). During Community Time on September 21, Spartans gathered outside to “plant” the colorful pinwheels on Wilton Lawn. Students assembled on the lawn as bubbles filled the air (thank you, Upper Schoolers!), and Lower Schoolers proudly wore peace-sign necklaces that they’d been given for this special occasion.
Lower School Art Teacher Lynn Zinder, who has been instrumental in organizing Whirled Peace Day at Steward since 2007, welcomed the community.
“Whirled Peace Day is a wonderful opportunity for the entire school to come together in an informal way to celebrate peace,” said Ms. Zinder, who teamed up with Lower/Middle School Visual Arts Teacher Abby Klein and Upper School Visual Arts Teacher Kristin Snellings to coordinate this year’s celebration. “It’s one of Steward’s traditional ‘community builders,’ and students really look forward to it.”
The Upper School chorus, under the direction of Middle School/Upper School Choral Music Teacher Heidi Taylor, led the School in the national anthem, and then sang a touching arrangement of “Stand by Me.” The combined Upper and Lower School choir performed “Be a Light,” a joyful, thought-provoking song that they also sang at this year’s Convocation.
Service to Others
Each year on Whirled Peace Day, the Steward community collects donations to present to a local organization. This year, the School partnered with Feed More, a food bank that collects and distributes food to neighbors in need in Central Virginia. In the weeks leading up to Whirled Peace Day, generous Spartan families dropped off canned food at School, and during Whirled Peace Day, the food was presented to Kourtney Boughey ’03, volunteer coordinator for Feed More’s Meals on Wheels program. Meals on Wheels provides meals to homebound seniors and disabled neighbors.
Ms. Boughey shared Feed More’s mission and noted that 1 in 7 households in Central Virginia face food insecurity.
“This is a struggle … that no one should have to endure,” she told the crowd. Noting the impact that food donations make, she said that every pound of food donated equates to 1.2 meals. “Since 2010, The Steward School has donated 18,919 pounds of food to Feed More, which equals 15,765 meals,” she said. As the crowd applauded and cheered, she added, “You’re making a huge impact in our fight against food insecurity. Thank you so much!”
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