Librarian creates peacemaking circle with chairs

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 5:14 AM EDT
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At Signal Knob Middle School in Strasburg, a librarian and her assistant are both set to retire at the end of the school year. Jacqueline Weitmen and her assistant Brenda James, decided to create a legacy project called the “Peacemaking Circle.”

Instead of getting rid of some of the old oak chairs in the library, they asked local artists, students and teachers to paint them something that brought them peace. The ultimate goal is to create a place where people can sit in a peaceful setting and dive into conversation.

“You’ll see Chincoteague, you’ll see butterflies, you’ll see lots of different things even a Mother Theresa quote. Something as simple as that,” said Jacqueline Weitman.

One of the artists, known as the butterfly lady around the community, created her chair with lots of butterflies and other forms of nature.

”I’m just so excited that the current students and hopefully they will pass it on to their younger siblings will step out and have the conversations that are sometimes difficult, but make the most progress,” said Barbara Plitt, a local artist.

Among the artists were a few students and teachers. Two of the students talked about their favorite parts of their chairs and their hope for the project going forward.

”I hope that they will see that the sunflowers...sun kind of gives like a smile to everyone’s face, so the sunflowers should say something to people and give them a smile,” said Emily Davis, a student.

“It’s blue and it has aliens on it. It’s my favorite thing,” said Trevor Baker, a student.

Both librarians say they hope the chairs will leave a lasting impact on the school and community.

The formal celebration of the peacemaking circle is happening on Monday, May 2nd in the middle school’s library from 6 to 7 pm.

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