Posted in Colchester Middle School, Community, General

Positive Climate Through Positive Expression

A picture is a poem without words.
—Horace

CMS students with their artwork “Four-Season Tree.” The pair worked on the piece nearly every day for four months.

Throughout the year, we have shared numerous examples of the ways in which our schools are proactively working to cultivate positive climates. Colchester Middle School has struck upon another idea that is really brightening its learning environment.

A sixth grader with the mural he and a friend recently completed. Notice the incorporation of the school’s colors into the snowman’s scarf and the bear’s umbrella.

The idea: why not allow students an opportunity to develop a sense of ownership and pride in their school by opening up wall space for murals?

Any student or group of students interested in creating permanent mural art for CMS must first submit a schematic to art educator William Albright and Principal Dawn Gruss, and once approved, the murals are completed during student support time (SST) and during daily breaks.

An eighth grader stands with her creation, “Robot.” She said, “The colors are big, bold, simple … but it is hard work to get the sharp edges and to put your own creative twist on it.”

The murals are not graded; instead, they are an opportunity to encourage free expression and promote positive school climate. As we’ve mentioned before, research has indicated that students are more likely to succeed in school when they experience a positive sense of belonging and when they feel that they are part of something greater.

Eighth graders stand with their work, “The World Is Full of Beauty.” The piece took a week to design and three months to complete.

Art also provides an excellent forum for creativity, exploration, communication, and imagination. For many students, it also builds confidence, self-discipline, and increases self-esteem.

Efforts in positive climate are multifaceted and cumulative … and these murals are contributing by facilitating a warm and collaborative spirit in the hallways of CMS.

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