Nearly 600 elementary students and staff at Alexander Robinson Elementary got together on Dec. 13 to wish their community joy and peace for the holidays.
They did so by joining together into a gigantic peace symbol formation on the school’s outdoor field.
“We wanted to show our appreciation for our community with a simple message that was from all of us and each of us,” said principal Adam Stanley. “I really like taking the opportunity to show that we can achieve surprising and dramatic results on a grand scale when we all work together.”
Alexander Robinson’s vice-principal, Mrs. Wurster, came up with the idea of doing the peace sign as an inclusive symbol of good will.
Logistically speaking, it was an ambitious holiday message. Alexander Robinson students worked to solve all of the planning issues using a design thinking strategy to apply what they had recently learned about radius, diameter, and circumference. The peace symbol shape was created with a single piece of rope, a fixed centre peg, and lots of cooperation.
It began with just a few students who formed the outline, then a few hundred and finally close to 600 as the peace sign came into focus from high above on the school roof where Stanley stood to take a photo.
“The staff led their divisions in to create different components of the figure. Any time you try to move more than 600 people in a coordinated way is a little challenging, but our head secretary, Mrs. Hogarth, acted as an energetic ‘ground wrangler’ for the event,” said Stanley.
The students, decked out in an assortment of festive hats and clothing, enjoyed participating in the special holiday event that included all grade levels.
“They felt that it was a lot of fun, really positive, and were really surprised to see how what seemed like chaos close up could transform into something so clear from a distance. It was an exercise in gaining perspective, and in the end, all about teamwork,” said Stanley.