By Cristal Cordova and Chasity Gentry, CALC Youth Advisors
On Saturday, September 28th, 2019, CALC youth advisors Cristal and Chasity helped the Greater Park Hill Community to install two intersection murals at Park Hill Elementary and Stedman Elementary. They share their experiences below.
I worked on the mural at Park Hill Elementary School. I got there at 7 in the morning to start cleaning and preparing the materials. At first, it seemed slow since there were only a few of us. As the day went on I saw more people arrive to create a mural for the community that not only looks beautiful, but will hopefully promote active living and safety for the children in the area. I asked some community members how they heard about this event; some saw it in the community newsletter, and others were just walking by and wanted to help. At one point there were so many children painting we ran out of clean brushes and paint! It was rewarding to see mural fill in over the morning from a chalk drawing. The best part was seeing all the children taking pictures at the end and saying “it is done and it looks awesome!” For me personally, I left feeling accomplished and uplifted by the experience.
I helped with the mural at Stedman Elementary School. When I arrived at the intersection, it was just a bit after sunrise and the mural was just starting to be traced with chalk. Before we began, we were wished well by a nearby neighbor on their way out for the day and they could not wait to see the final project. Hearing the excitement in their voice made me anxious to see how it would come out. I helped unload the materials then got to work mixing the paint, set up the paint brushes and rollers, and set up smocks for the children to wear over their clothing. By the time everything was ready, the first wave of volunteers came walking up. The first group had a lot of children that attended Stedman Elementary, and they were all thrilled to share with their friends what they had done that weekend. As the day went on we met teachers, parents, and other community members who were all there to help promote safety in their neighborhood. When we finished the mural, I took a step back and was amazed with how great it looked. It was comforting to be a part of something that is both a beautiful addition to the neighborhood, and a great way to keep this community safe.
The best part of being involved was seeing the murals take shape with the leadership of the greater Park Hill Community, and all the students, parents, and teachers who came out to help.
This event showed us the power of community to create and install a visual message of sustainability and climate change while incorporating pieces of their school mascots. This event had children from all over the neighborhood excited to get involved in something that will benefit them and their peers as they walk, roll, or drive by the mural on their way to school. Stay tuned for upcoming murals in Spring 2020!