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Students brighten school entrance with mural

St. Charles Elementary School
Every student at St. Charles Elementary School played a part in the creation of a 16-by-7-foot mural at the school's main entrance.

ST. CHARLES — In the midst of a cold-hearted January, St. Charles Elementary School will hold an event certain to shed some warmth on the hearts of the people inside.

The school will unveil a school-wide project — a 16-foot-by-7-foot mural at the school's main entrance.

It's uniqueness will come from the fact that every one of St. Charles' 540 students will have had a hand in its creation. Everyone was given a brush and a piece of the painting — from the smallest kindergartner to the oldest sixth grader — to paint. The puzzle pieces were then put together to create a finished product. When the painting is unveiled, it will be the first opportunity for students to see their collective handiwork.

St. Charles Elementary doesn't offer art classes because it doesn't have an art teacher. So to get kids practicing their brush strokes and blending colors, the school brought in area artist Ryan Corfits, who led the students through the project, said St. Charles principal Shane McBroom.

"We started out with the bigger pieces. That was done by the younger students. They were able to slop on the paint. They did a great job," McBroom said. "As the pieces got to be more detailed, the upper elementary kids worked on those."


The acrylic painting depicts a fall setting with a number of elements and images reminiscent of a rural St. Charles day (without the minus 10 degree temperatures). There's an old school house, a barn and tractors. The work also captures the school's growing diversity, with white, black and Hispanic students and a girl in a wheelchair playing in the foreground.

"It was a pretty big project, so we wanted to make sure we had it all assembled and up on the wall before we planned a presentation," McBroom said about the unveiling, which was set for today.

"It's right inside the elementary main entrance. It's going to be there for awhile."

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