Students and faculty at William McKinley I.S. 259 cut the ribbon June 23 on a mural that explores the diversity of children.
The mural’s purpose is to incorporate all cultures and celebrations. Thrive Collective, a group that creates opportunity through arts and mentoring in public schools, brought the mural project to the school.
“We have more than 100 different ethnicities,” said Principal Janice Geary. “I wanted something positive and uplifting. When our families and children come back in September, they’re going to see this upbeat mural. I want every kid to look at it and say, ‘Hey, that looks like me on the mural.’”
The mural, which spans the entire wing of the school’s first floor, shows a parade being led by the school’s lion mascot and children of different cultures and nationalities celebrating.
Geary said the project meant a lot to the kids during an uncertain school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“About 80 percent of my kids were remote and 20 percent were in the building,” she said. “The building was kind of empty. The kids weren’t able to really move around, so this gave the kids involved in the project with my art teacher the opportunity to get out in the halls and socially distance and do something fun that will be celebrated for years to come.”
The school has several murals throughout the building, including a 9/11 memorial.