Diversity Project Influences Students

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An art project started last year by a local school was so successful, administration decided to continue it this year. This project not only teaches students about history, it’s also making an impact on the student’s futures.

Walking the halls Thurgood Marshall Learning Center, artwork hangs everywhere and recently, a new piece was added to their collection. Students created a mural comprised of 32 famous people who made history within the last 50 years.

"It's more about the kids and their involvement and what they take from it,” says teacher Janice Watts-Gbenyo.

It's part of a diversity project and it’s given students like Moshe Stewart hope for his future.

"It's a hands on activity, stress reliever; you know, it helps relieve anger sometimes,” says Moshe.

Bill Cosby, Oprah and the Obama's are just some of the faces on the mural.

"A lot of people are visual learners and I thought this would be something great to do,” says Jesse Adams, who painted the mural.

Teachers incorporated the biographies of the history makers into lesson plans and activities to go along with the curriculum. Respect and compassion are other attitudes Thurgood Marshall aims to teach students.

"There's so much potential for growth and change and it's very rewarding to see that kind of growth,” says Janice.

On the top of the mural, a spot is left blank for a new face, which Moshe says could be anyone, "It can be us on the mural someday, it’s showing the people in school that being bad isn’t the way to go."

Thurgood is already working on their theme for next school year. They’re planning on looking at people in our community who have made a positive impact.