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Whyte Ridge school brightens the neighbourhood

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Whyte Ridge Elementary School student Ava Peters and her principal Dave Poersch outside Whyte Ridge Elementary School, where the school’s brand-new mural was unveiled Sept. 30 during an outdoor assembly.

STEPH CROSIER Enlarge Image

Whyte Ridge Elementary School student Ava Peters and her principal Dave Poersch outside Whyte Ridge Elementary School, where the school’s brand-new mural was unveiled Sept. 30 during an outdoor assembly. Photo Store

Ava Peters’ favourite subject at Whyte Ridge Elementary School is art, and she recently got to put her skills to work.

When the eight-year-old’s school decided to place a mural on its eastern wall facing the playground, she was excited. It became even more exciting when she discovered the whole school would be participating in its creation.

"It was fun," said Peters, who is in Grade 3. "I think because the whole school working on it was kind of neat and fun."

Whyte Ridge Elementary School students and muralist Annie Bergen worked on the 30 foot-plus-long mural together. It includes all four seasons, 3D features, and the history of Fort Whyte.

"It is about Fort Whyte School and being respectful to people," said Peters.

The project was initiated by the school’s parent council, said principal Dave Poersch

"Recently we have done some playground improvements and they wanted to add a mural to it. So the parents and the school put in an application to the Artists in the Schools program," said Poersch.

The Artists in the Schools program is run through the Manitoba Arts Council, and brings together professional artists and students from kindergarten to Grade 12.

"So (Bergen) came out and did some research with the students, or helped them do research, on the history of Whyte Ridge," said Poersch. "Then she came back and painted with the students."

Poersch said every one of the school’s students aged five to nine, more than 400 in all, painted something on the mural.

"I worked on the buttons on the snowmen and the fuzz on someone’s jacket," said Peters. "It was neat because you had an artist but you had a big mural that you were painting, and the whole school did some of it so it looked really good, and it is really colourful."

To celebrate the unveiling of the mural, the school held an assembly outside with all of the students.

Peters’ favourite part about the mural was painting it and telling people about it.

"I just love painting, and everything is fun because you’ve got a big mural on the side of your school," said Peters. "So it’s fun to tell people that don’t know that you helped in painting that."

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