Maddy Libolt’s fifth-grade class wanted to “leave their mark” at Everson Elementary. With the pandemic regulations robbing the students of many of the traditional opportunities to serve the students in the school—from assisting in younger grades to serving in the cafeteria—the students still wanted to have a positive impact on the entire school before they moved to Nooksack Valley Middle School.
“We brainstormed ways we could still leave our mark in this COVID year and one way was to add some art to our school garden by painting the largest garden box,” Libolt says. “They totally owned this project! From the brainstorming, planning and execution, they did it all and feel proud of their work.”
Student Colt Bosman suggested using painter’s tape to create geometric designs on the garden box and then paint different colors within each shape. Madison Brown, another Everson student, picked out three different color palettes and had the class vote on its favorite. Once the class together established a plan for how they wanted the box to look, Brown wrote a letter to Kevin DeVere, principal, explaining the proposal. DeVere approved wholeheartedly.
Libolt says the garden was added to the school thanks to community donations a couple of years ago and the Common Threads program has allowed students to learn gardening and cooking because of it. “This garden is fairly new to our school and we are still working to make it ours,” she says. “It is pretty basic looking and over the next few years we—as a school—hope to add various art to make it truly ‘our’ garden.”
Her class has provided a great start on that effort.
The three-day project included everyone working together to install the tape to outline the design. A class paraeducator assisted by pulling small groups out of glass to head to the garden and paint. On the afternoon of Friday, June 4, the class went out to the garden as a group to remove the tape and reveal the work.
“It looks awesome,” Libolt says. “The colors really add to our garden.”