Illustrations Welcome Everyone to Southwest

Illustrations Welcome Everyone to Southwest
Posted on 11/06/2020
sw hallway
Diverse Illustrations

Welcome Everyone

to Southwest

Walking into the front hallway of Southwest Primary no longer represents dull school walls of brick and mortar. Thanks to a grant awarded to Meredith Clay, who leads the school's intervention support, the bigger-than-life color illustrations give enthusiastic pause to all who enter.  

"Everyone wants to have their pictures taken with these illustrations," said Clay. "The children find someone who looks like them--and that's pretty easy to do as the artwork is quite diverse, intentionally. The students at Southwest Primary represent a beautiful blend of diverse enrollment. I wanted our students to see themselves represented on the walls of their school through amazing literary characters who are just like them -- and that is powerful," said Clay.

The grant, valued at $4,995.53, was awarded by the HPS Education Foundation, Inc. The front entrance mural is titled, "All Are Welcome." Completed by "hip hip hooWray" in Conover, NC, the artwork is based on the New York Times bestselling picture book of the same title by Alexandra Penfold and illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman.  The hallway art project is part of the Little Lion Cub Literacy Project--with the Lion Cub serving as the school's mascot.

"Penfold tells the story of how all students and families are welcomed into the school building with open arms. She describes how cultural traditions are valued and how we all have a place in our world to learn and grow from one another, making school the perfect place to come together - just as we strive to do at Southwest Primary School," said Clay.

The artwork was so inspirational that several teachers put together additional murals in the pre-kindergarten, first and second grade hallways--simply to add more colorful inspiration for the students. "I would like to recognize all the teachers who assisted in the mural projects as well as Tina Kuba, Tammy Hinson, Shirley Vang, Keith Herman, and also Erin Roberts--who assisted with the grant writing," said Clay.

"The implementation of the Little Lion Cub Literacy Project is imperative as it is the first opportunity, upon entering our school building, to creatively engage students with frequent exposure to literature as they build and nurture positive associations to reading. Through this project -- it is our goal to create beautiful, innovative, and inviting spaces where we can nurture and foster a love of learning," said Clay.       


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