Students stand near painted walls in the hallway of Central Elementary. Students were allowed to write and draw on the school walls during art class, as part of a farewell celebration to the elementary school, which will be moving to a new location during Winter Break this year.
Students at Central Elementary are leaving their mark on the school ahead of its closing.
As a send-off, art teacher Tina Arndt presented a project that encouraged students to paint the walls of the school.
“I wanted to give all students the chance to live the childhood dream of painting the walls,” Mrs. Arndt said.
After Sylvania Schools’ winter break, which runs from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4, Central students will move to a new building near Timberstone Junior High School. The new school will be known as Central Trail Elementary.
“The Central murals are temporary,” Mrs. Arndt said. “After creating, enjoying, and taking a lot of pictures, they will be knocked down with the building. Though they will be gone, they will not be forgotten. They will live in our memories and in the minds of everyone who sees them.”
Incorporating the assignment into class curriculum, Mrs. Arndt also found crafty ways to get her students inspired for the project. She showed videos of an artist named Jim Dine, who created charcoal murals on the walls of a building and then had to watch them get painted over six weeks later. That demonstration showed students how the murals they have created are also impermanent, she said.
Each grade level designed a mural with a different theme. Kindergarten students created a garden of flowers and grass while fifth graders painted “Walk like an Egyptian” figures, to go along with their study of Egyptian art.
“It was so fun seeing them paint,” Principal Toni Gerber said, adding that the walls kept evolving and changing.
Some of the work was done in layers.
“The first week, the kindergartners sponge-painted the walls and planted some grass,” Mrs. Arndt said. The project began the first week of October but some students are still busy making finishing touches.
The school will host a “Paint the Walls” celebration party from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 5, giving parents and family members the opportunity to see the work their student has created. The event also invites former students out to share in painting a mural as well. Slideshows of the history of the elementary school will be shown, Mrs. Arndt said.
“It's a fun way to say good-bye I think. Like painting good-bye in a way. Just one last big memory, I'm hoping,” she said.