Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Friendly Facelift

Our cafeteria got a facelift, just in time for the new year! The bottlecaps were installed the day before school started. It was a great surprise for the students at lunchtime---seeing their artwork up on the wall! The kimbap was created by elementary students. High school students worked on the taco, with a lot of work being finished this summer by the secondary art teacher.

As you can see, there's a few gaps and areas needing touch-up, but I am thrilled with the result! Now to plan the coordinating mural for the right side of the cafeteria. I'm thinking pizza and dragon fruit...

In addition to the bottlecaps, I managed to get some paint up on the walls. While our facilities manager was out of town, I convinced his assistant to paint the columns in cafeteria. I was inspired by a picture of another school cafeteria that I found while looking for design ideas for our new Early Childhood Center.

When the facilities manager returned, he asked me if I painted the columns. I said "Well, I didn't physically do the painting, but I might have suggested the colors." A few days later, I heard him tell the Early Childhood Center Project Manager "If we build it, she will paint it." I had to laugh and smile, both at the concept and at the Field of Dreams reference.

Student Services retooled their Welcome and Goodbye boards from a less-traveled hallway to now go under the bottlecap display.  Overall, the cafeteria looks so friendly and fun!  Much less institutional...and more like a space for students!

I take an added interest in the cafeteria because my classroom is directly behind the bottlecap wall. I love to wander the cafeteria at lunch, sitting with different students, chatting, and eating lunch. This year, I am free during all three lunch periods which allows for extra socializing! And after three years of teaching, the middle school is now full of my former 5th graders. Middle school lunch is such a treat, seeing all the friendly faces of my former students.

The cafeteria is also the location for the art gallery portion of the Elementary Fine Arts Gala. The colored columns will alter the all-white gallery space, but I'm sure the splash of color will work in our favor.

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