POINT PLEASANT — Ocean Road Elementary School commemorated No Child Left Inside Day on May 21 with a slew of activities ranging from sidewalk chalk, yoga, a bubble show and the unveiling of a new mural in the garden area.
“This has been a tradition since 2010 and we were not going to miss it for anything, so we adapted it a little bit and for sure the mural unveiling is the center of today,” Principal Sheila Buck said. “We just want fun, we want joy, we want kids to be kids and that is what today is about. There’s art, there’s bubbles, there’s yoga, there’s music, there’s ice pops — all child centered fun.”
According to school leaders, the mural was made possible through the Artists in Education Residency Grant Program, which according to its website, “has been dedicated to bringing teaching artists and educators together in powerful, long-term residencies to help students and teachers engage in and learn about the creative process.”
Students and staff collaborated with a visiting artist last month and the final product highlighted as its centerpiece the theme of the day, “Be You.” The colorful mural adds other inspirational messages to its canvas, including “Be Brave,” “Be Creative,” “Be Thankful” and “Be Kind.”
“Kerri Savage, the art teacher here, applied for a grant for an artist to come and work with the school to make a project and they wanted a mural. The theme is about mindfulness, so the ‘Be You’ really focuses on that. Then the entire fifth grade and all the teachers each made an individual flower, so there are about 100 flowers on there; then the rest of the school, K-4, painted everything else collaboratively,” Kate Marie Sclavi, the visiting artist working with the school, said.
“I have been living in Point Pleasant the whole month while doing the mural, which has been really nice and so the … color palette of the mural is all based on colors that I saw here in Point Pleasant and are inspired by the irises I saw in bloom this past month.
“The first week I brought in real flowers and they had magnifying glasses for them to really look and examine. We talked about the differences between things and we did a lot of scientific inquiry before they settled on their flower. I felt like taking those few extra days to do that was so important because that is when you start to get variations and move away from the cookie cutter. I just think it was nice for the kids and the whole school to work on the project.”
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