What Lifts You mural

What lifts you? A first grade self-reflection art moment

As the year of learning strangely wound to a close, first graders celebrated their season of sweet resilience with an amazing technicolor mural.  
 
“They have uncomplainingly moved classrooms four to six times, worn masks with grace, enthusiastically learned new ways of playing and learning together—some remotely and many at a social distance,” says first grade teacher Amy Landry. “Together, they have processed the heaviness of the events in our country with empathy and sensitivity.”
 
Loosely inspired by Kelsey Montague’s street art project, #WhatLiftsYou, the mural answers the question posed to first grade classrooms: what has lifted you this year?

What Lifts You    What Lifts You student drawings   What Lifts You student drawings
 
The students brainstormed all the wonders that lifted spirits and sparked happiness despite daily challenges. Their lists included playing games, exploring Wooded Isle, building forts, making food, reading books, hugging families, drawing pictures, and playing with friends, first grade counselor Ms. Lauren, and more. 
 
Using supplies and materials from a Parents’ Association grant, each student designed and painted a single feather in an assigned color, destined to find its place in a vibrant rainbow wing. Adults in the building were invited to collaborate by designing and painting their own feathers, too.
 
“The process helped us all to realize that doing things we enjoy and spending time with people who make us feel safe and loved helps us be resilient,” said Landry. “Our hope is that when first grade students step between the radiant wings that they—and the adults who have taken care of them this year—have created, it will be as though they have sprouted their own wings, and they will feel lifted, celebrated, and loved.”
 

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