06/20/12 — Character through art at North Drive Elementary

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Character through art at North Drive Elementary

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 20, 2012 1:46 PM

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Amy Kennedy, left, art teacher at North Drive Elementary School, assists third-grader Tanasha Hall with a panel from the "mural of character" students recently worked on at the school, made possible through a grant from the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce.

Teachers and students at North Drive Elementary School recently used their artistic talents to commemorate character education lessons taught at the school.

Art teacher Amy Kennedy coordinated the effort, which resulted in designing a "Mural of Character" on the hallway walls near the school entrance.

It was made possible in part through a $500 grant from the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce.

Character education is part of the student curriculum, Mrs. Kennedy said, and she wanted to expand upon the idea by creating a living mural that involved teachers and students.

The four-panel mural is seven feet high and 16 feet long.

"Children need to visually see how people succeed in life through having good character in helping others and themselves," Mrs. Kennedy said. "Our mural expresses the mind of three multicultural children. Perseverance, good judgment, kindness, courage and respect are a few words of character that create a positive environment within their minds."

The mural design was inspired by a compilation of ideas from teachers, students and a Harlem Renaissance painter. The art teacher said she was inspired by Aaron Douglas, whose work in the 1920s included the painting, "The Creation," which included simple shapes and energetic lines.

The silhouette images depicted in the mural include a graduate holding a diploma, representing perseverance; a mountain climber, demonstrating courage; and a little girl finding a purse, then walking toward an adult to return it, portraying respect.