Impact Fund Highlights: A Budding Garden and Two Lively Murals

Our extraordinary Impact Fund winners are finishing their projects as the school year comes to a close. In the past few weeks, two of our five Impact Fund winners punctuated their projects with community days and events with our last project celebrating in Fall 2017. You can catch up on the other completed Impact fund projects here and here

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At Moravia Park Elementary, garden bed designs are more than just plants and dirt. Last year, arts integration coach Samantha Feld started the garden club with only scraps for a budget; literally. They had to dumpster dive to get the appropriate tools  and materials to start a garden that  grew kale and collard greens. Now wanting to expand the garden project, the Impact fund helped Samantha and her students grow the potential of the school gardens.

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I own my own business growing mushrooms and this brings together everything I am interested in. After the struggle with the gardening club, it was great to see the gorgeous and appropriate planting beds because that’s what the students deserve. – Samantha Feld

 

Partnering with artist Seth Wheeler of NorthWind Energy & Earthworks, the three new gardens were decorated with student made trellises and will grow a range of vegetable and medicinal herbs like cucumber, squash, broccoli rabe, lavender, sage, and chives. Samantha envisions that the garden will help students get learn more about healthy eating habits and they can bring home the food they grow. This would especially help engage the high population of refugee and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students. Their “Unveiling the Garden” ceremony last Friday, June 2nd brought together families, students, and community members to celebrate the completion of the project. In the fall, the garden beds will be further decorated by a mosaic mural artist to add even more color to the bright greenery. See this project featured on ABC2 News. 

 

Hamilton Elementary’s 5th grade class spent the past month and a half learning about storm water systems and how trash in storm drains impacts the Chesapeake Bay. They collaborated with artist Maura Dyer to design and paint a horizontal mural that surrounds the storm drain in the blacktop space they use for recess. On Thursday, June 1st Hamilton invited volunteers to help the students paint the rest of the mural. In completing the project, teacher Danna Kerns-Streett could see the impact that the new mural has on the outdoor space and the student’s lives.

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The Impact Fund allowed the students to become involved in their school in a creative way by painting a mural that will outlast their careers here at school.  Maura has been wonderful to work with!  She conducted a brainstorming session with the students and incorporated their ideas and images into the mural so the students could take more ownership of the piece. -Danna Kerns-Streett

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Cecil Elementary wanted to do away with their drab school exterior and brighten their school building with a colorful new mural. With the Impact Fund grant, Principal Roxanne Forre brought on Ronnie Younts of Younts Design Inc., and local muralist, Greg Gannon, to design and complete an abstract mural that would bring new life to the school. The final design by Ronnie Younts was inspired by student drawings of the school’s mascot, an owl. They will be unveiling the final mural at their community art day in Fall 2017. Stay tuned for more information and times!

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