What a wonderful surprise to find “Making Their Mark” on the front page (CDT, June 10).
The art project that has sixth-graders painting representations of their personal interests on a concrete wall block began many years ago in the art room of what is now the Old Gregg School in Spring Mills.
Through a construction addition we received a new art room there but the barren walls needed color and art. With permission from the principal, Kurt Nyquist, I asked each sixth-grader to choose a block to paint as a permanent mark before transitioning to seventh grade. Every class looked forward to the project.
After several years, the Spring Mills school closed; all fifth- and sixth-graders then attended the new intermediate wing at the Penns Valley Elementary and Intermediate School. The Spring Mills students were devastated that they would not be painting their wall blocks as sixth-graders.
Again, with Nyquist’s support, the block painting continued in the new cafeteria. Art blocks became a rite of passage before moving on to seventh grade.
After my retirement in 2006 as elementary art teacher, the project continued with art teacher Stephanie Ripka. It is great to see the growing permanent art legacies gracing the cafeteria walls. I am pleased that students have returned to view their work as they graduate from high school, and I thank Nyquist and Ripka for continuing the project and to the CDT for showcasing it.