Locust Valley Middle and High School students took turns carefully pressing their thumbs into various colors of paint and then precisely pressing that paint onto a canvas. The canvas contained a painting of a tree and the thumbprints represented the leaves. At the base of the tree, each of the students signed their own name.

The project was done in collaboration with Kay Weninger, President of Operation Democracy and included signatures of local veterans. The Peace Tree will be displayed in the International Student Art Exhibition in Sainte Mère Église, France. Students in France will add their thumbprints and signatures to the tree and send one they’ve been working on back to Locust Valley.  

Art teachers Donna Chaplin, Tom Camilleri, Melanie Mooney and Nirel Rieff had their middle school and high school art students participate. Weninger said that the project is intended to engage students in the topic of history and reinforce the importance of friendships. “We rekindle the friendships between the two communities through this tree of life.”