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Valley View students improve school with mural

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VALLEY VIEW – A vibrant mural that brightens a once bare lunchroom wall at Valley View School is more than an art project; it tells a story.

Smiling students standing next to their two-room school house, with music, arts, sports, technology and western/equine gear symbols are painted over the backdrop of a big American flag. The colorful scene conveys to viewers the feel of the small, country school.

Conceptualized, planned and painted by Carol Madden’s 3-6th grade class, the artists explained that their mural represents Valley View School, its students and what their varied interests are. 

A repurposed room with a newly exposed bare wall gave way to the 6-month project. Under the direction of Sonja Bickel, who filled in as art teacher, each student in the 3-6 class submitted a design idea for the mural. The entire student body voted and chose Trapper McAllister’s plan which features a large American flag as the backdrop. In order to represent the broad spectrum of student interests, additional elements were incorporated into Trapper’s design. 

Grid lines in the final 8x10 schematic were transferred proportionally to the wall with each student responsible for painting a block of the grid. Beginning last November, students spent one hour each week on the mural. They finished their project on Monday, April 20.

“They did a great job. It’s all kid collaboration,” Bickel said as she smiled at her students.

At the bottom of the mural and the base of the painted schoolhouse are words from an inspirational poster that hangs in Bickel’s office, “I can because I think I can.”

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