Students at PS 169 created a welcoming mural inspired by the Core Values of their school: F. I. R. E. (Friendship, Integrity, Responsibility, Excellence). These values are an opportunity to encourage students, staff and community members to explore different areas they can excel in school and in life.
In the mural, two young people are surround by serene depictions of creativity, imagination, and learning. The rainbow in the center of the mural leads into a sunset, speaking to the community of Sunset Park. In their sketches, the students also often associated the rainbow with friendship. The figure on the left speaks to the FIRE values of Excellence and Integrity. The butterflies in the book symbolize the knowledge and imagination that is opened up through reading, a symbol for education. The figure on the right waters plants to represent the values of Friendship and Responsibility values.
Throughout the process, the young students emerged from their shells, through games and art activities. They were nervous to present their work at a celebratory school assembly, but they overcame their fears to share their transformative experience with their classmates.