A Peace Pole is now part of the new pavilion area in front of Brookwood High School, thanks to the partnership between Brookwood Interact Club and the Rotary Club of Sugarloaf. Principal William Bo Ford, Jr., and Assistant Principal Ryan Hanik helped club officers install the pole on Friday, Sept. 6. The pole is one of 200,000 around the world and part of the Peace Pole Project (worldpeace.org). It reads “May Peace Prevail On Earth” in four languages and is an internationally recognized symbol of hope, standing in silent vigil for peace on earth.
During the Sept. 11 Peace Pole dedication ceremony, Interact Club officers Waleed Ghaus, Ellie Ford, Samantha Parker and Michael Mallard spoke to a small crowd about the significance of 9/11. Rotary Club’s Jody Campbell spoke of peace worldwide and the importance of inner peace for all of us.
The location of the pole is also worth noting; it stands at a corner of the school’s new literary garden and pavilion space facing Dogwood Road. The idea for the space came from a project at Michigan’s West Bloomfield High School, where students planted greens from the homes of American authors and dedicated a garden to flowers mentioned in literary works to both beautify the school and build students’ literary knowledge. Brookwood’s Language Arts teacher Amber Simmons, Ph.D. took the idea a step further by aligning the garden concept with language arts and science standards and making it a STEAM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). Dr. Simmons funded the project with grant money from her recent Atlanta Families Excellence in Teaching Award, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., and combined it with grant money that Brookwood science teacher Carrie Settles Livers received from Infinite Energy and the Brookwood Schools Foundation.
The garden area around the pavilion started with a project concept design by Brookwood’s registrar, Aimee Cantrell, who is also a professional landscape designer. The students in Mrs. Settles Livers’ Natural Resources Management class are working from the plan filling in details and implementing the installation. Mrs. Cantrell further helped the project along by speaking directly to the class about landscape design. One section will be a pollinator garden, another section will grow edibles in raised beds, and the two rear sections will house the literary garden and wind turbine. Mrs. Settles’ students will grow out seeds and bulbs that Dr. Simmons’ class has obtained by writing to various author’s gardens. The wind turbine will provide another alternative energy source to complement the solar panel already installed elsewhere on campus. Dr. Simmons’ grant includes the installation of a Little Free Library, which will feature books by the authors represented by the flower garden. Mrs. Settles Livers’ students will pitch their designs to Dr. Simmons and Principal Bo Ford, who will select the final layout.
Mrs. Settles Livers’ and Dr. Simmons’ students will partner in harvesting the edible garden and literary garden to produce a variety of products to offer in their Farmer’s Market. This inter-disciplinary partnership provides many varied learning opportunities for these students.