This project began in April and lasted only 4 Fridays for 4 hours per day. We finished this mural in 16 hours! These kids did an amazing job.
SCHOOL: Mckenzie School, up the Mckenzie River Highway near Springfield, OR.
STUDENTS: This school serves the rural community that live along this particular section of the McKenzie river. It has about 200 students, Kindergarten through 12th grade.
I WORKED WITH: Students attend school here only Monday through Thursday. Fridays are optional. I worked as a part of the school's Friday program, which tried to add back in, the arts that the kids don't get during the week due to funding. Unfortunately, attendance to the Friday Program, remains low. Teachers believe the reason for this, is that students are so used to 3-day-weekends every single weekend, that they don't want to wake up early and go to school on Fridays if they don't have to. They have about 10 "regulars" though, who are the kids I mostly worked with.
THEME: SCHOOL PRIDE! Our first session, the kids and I had a a huge brainstorming session. McKenzie's mascot is the eagle, so of course we included that. The McKenzie River is also a really important part of the wild landscape around their school, so we included that, too. We decided to have the eagle carrying a banner with the school's academic motto on it, too.
Altogether, this was such a fun project. Even though I didn't work with many kids, the ones who were there, were there by choice and were really engaged. I could tell that getting to paint something that was going to be displayed in their school's front entryway, was something that these kids were going to take pride in and remember for a long time. As I always say, making collaborative murals build self- esteem and team-working skills, along with the obvious creative and art-making skills they are building.
Keep your brushes wet,