Wood River High School Students Paint Inspirational Pictures in Elementary School Hallways


WOOD RIVER, Neb. (KSNB) – Students at Wood River Rural High School paint murals on the walls of Wood River Elementary School.

About eight high school art students work on a project to decorate the elementary school hallways. They’ve spent the past four weeks painting pictures of giraffes, greenery, fireflies and more. They are also in the process of adding inspirational and positive messages to the artwork.

Jennifer Pieterzak, a middle and high school art teacher, participated in the project. She said elementary school staff pitched the idea to her. After drawing some sketches for wall art, the elementary school invited high school students to bring their paintbrushes to the halls.

Pieterzak said he got positive reactions from elementary students during their visit.

“It brings life to the kids, I think,” she said. “You know, they’re excited about it. There’s also, you know, the walls right now are gray and purple and white and pretty much that’s what you see other than what the students are putting on the wall.

Pieterzak also said that the messages they paint on the walls cover the seven habits practiced by elementary school students: being proactive; begin with the end in mind; think win-win; seek first to understand, then to be understood; synergize and sharpen the saw. These habits come from the “leader in me”.

Three phases are planned for the project. The high schoolers are in the first phase, then they plan to decorate around the bathroom and head to the walls of the cafeteria. Pieterzak said they plan to have fifth graders help out with the wall art.

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