Student Created Murals are a Game-Changer

CAW teams up with Department of Health to promote active design at two schools in Brooklyn

Third Grade students at    PS 86    in    Bushwick    unveil the new active design mural they helped design for their school lunchroom.

Third Grade students at PS 86 in Bushwick unveil the new active design mural they helped design for their school lunchroom.

The mural at    PS 86    features hand prints, basic shapes, several bulls eyes, a sunrise, and a variety of images drawn from nature.

The mural at PS 86 features hand prints, basic shapes, several bulls eyes, a sunrise, and a variety of images drawn from nature.

Physical acctivity is essential to the healthy development of all students, yet 80% of Americans don’t get enough exercise, according to the CDC. That’s why Creative Art Works teamed up with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to create murals to activate spaces at two schools in Brooklyn as part of the Active Art in Schools initiative. Active Art seeks to promote physical and mental well-being through a series of architectural and urban design strategies that encourage stair climbing, walking, bicycling, transit use, active recreation, and healthy eating.

Third Grade students at PS 86 in Bushwick participated in researching and planning the design of a colorful new mural for their school lunch room. Under the guidance of CAW Teaching Artist Kristy McCarthy, eight students explored ways that space can encourage physical acctivity – one exercise involved designing a fantasy playground. The final design of the mural includes a variety of colors, shapes, and images that can be incorporated into games made up by students.

Students in the    Adaptive PE    class at    FDR High School    in Brooklyn at the unveiling of the    active design Mural    they helped to create

Students in the Adaptive PE class at FDR High School in Brooklyn at the unveiling of the active design Mural they helped to create

Students in the Adaptive Physical Education class at Franklin D. Roosevelt High School in Brooklyn needed an outdoor recreation area closer to school. They had been trekking to a local park for PE, but by the time they got there, there wasn’t much time to work up a sweat before they had to turn around and go back. The administration identified an area adjacent to the school that the students could use, but it sorely needed some color.

Each student in the Adaptive PE class created their own design for the mural; then CAW Teaching Artist Valérie Hallier took ideas from each student and combined them into a single, cohesive piece. The mural was painted by a team of FDR teachers and staff, as well as veteran CAW Youth Apprentices hired expressly for the project.

I could have made an entire mural out of each student’s [work], because they were really beautiful.
— Teaching Artist Valérie Hallier
The completed active design mural

The completed active design mural

Watch the NY1 coverage of the active design mural at FDR High School

 
 

For more information on how to partner with Creative Art Works on a participatory, youth-driven, active design project in your school, please contact CAW Program Director Daniel Bergman at daniel@creativeartworks.org.

This segment aired on June 19th, 2019.

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