May 7, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Celebrating Diversity Through Art At Franklin Elementary:

By Nancy Wu

Franklin Elementary Parent

At 8 a.m. last Sunday morning, the Franklin Elementary School’s walls stood bare. By 5 p.m., through the generous and talented efforts of the school’s teachers, staff, and families, two new murals adorned the school.

One mural, “Discover The World Through Books”, decorates the wall that the teachers see from their parking lot. Its location was selected so that the mural would inspire the teachers as they headed to their classrooms. It is a beautiful image of tall books nestled in a rainforest among tropical birds. A bold image of Earth sits to the left. Ben Franklin, the school’s namesake, stands proudly in the middle.

Facing the playground is the second mural designed to promote cultural awareness and bully prevention education. Tara Brown, school principal, had the foresight to bring to her school the OLWEUS bully prevention program. It reminded us that most children will experience bully situations as bystanders. This program not only teaches how to work with bullies and help the bullied, but it empowers the many bystanders to help in numerous ways such as including children who are left out, helping those being bullied, and finding an adult to intervene in bully situations.

At Franklin’s anti-bullying kick off earlier this Fall, the kids signed a large anti-bully pledge banner and were given purple bracelets with the reminder, “Be a friend, not a bully”. Staff and teachers at Franklin are now clearly identified with bright orange t-shirts during lunchtime, recess, and other periods where many children are together outside. The t-shirts serve two purposes; they alert the children that an adult is nearby watching and make it makes it easy for children to find help should they need.

Led by local muralist David Legaspi III and his assistant Heather Forbes, Franklin families and

staff spent the day painting under David’s creative direction. He taught the method of dipping the brush

into three colors and painting diagonally to create an image reminiscent of impressionism. This was

truly a community effort as each volunteer got to mix and decide the color of their subject – a face, the

hair color, clothing, or playground toys. David reinforced the idea of appreciating diversity and

cooperation by allowing the kids to work together and decide the outcome of a mural that was

dedicated to the students of Franklin. The mural shows children of various ethnic backgrounds playing in harmony on a playground.

“Community painting has been an event that I have been dreaming to have at Franklin since I started here as Principal. It has been my experience that community mural painting brings students, parents, and school staff personally closer together. That is exactly what took place at Franklin Elementary on Sunday,” said Ms. Brown.

The kids had positive feelings for the day as well. The opportunity to add something to the school which would remain here for years was a common theme as to why they had such a memorable experience. Blake Benun, a 5th grader summed up the event by saying, “I had fun painting the jungle mural with my friends.”

“It’s exciting to know that when I come back to Franklin years from now, I will be able to see my work,” he said.

Sophie Hall, another 5th grader said that “at Franklin we value and study diversity.”

“The theme of the mural makes perfect sense,” she said.

“We have many more blank walls,” said Tara Brown with much enthusiasm. “I would love to see more community mural painting events at Franklin. Not only will our walls be esthetically beautiful, but also educate, challenge, and inspire our students for years to come.”

in News
Related Posts

Metro Bike Share Relaunches on Westside

May 6, 2021

May 6, 2021

Program back after being suspended in September By Chad Winthrop LA Metro’s bike share system is back on the Westside. ...

Santa Monica Freeway Sees Second Fatality of Week

May 6, 2021

May 6, 2021

Multi-vehicle crash kills one person Wednesday night By Sam Catanzaro One person was killed in a six-vehicle crash on the...

Riviera Mansion on Market for $25 Million

May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021

 6 bedroom, 10 bathroom Riviera mansion hits market  By Chad Winthrop A nearly century-old Riviera mansion complete with a speakeasy...

Venice’s Fox Theater Revamp

May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021

A developer wants to revamp the historic Fox Theater building in Venice. Learn more in this video made possible by...

Edify TV: Site Work Begins on Nearly Billion Dollar LAX Station

May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021

Site work has begun for a nearly billion dollar light rail transit station coming to LAX. Learn more in this...

Nearly 50-Unit Affordable Housing Complex Breaks Ground in Santa Monica

May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021

Development combines retail and residential units  By Toi Creel A 50-unit affordable housing complex recently broke ground in Santa Monica’s...

Edify TV: Concert Capacity Rules Issue for Small Venues

May 4, 2021

May 4, 2021

Live music is back in LA County but the owner of a Westside jazz club says reopening will have to...

Santa Monica City Council Gives Green Light to Pursue Main Street Closures

May 3, 2021

May 3, 2021

Lawmakers instruct staff to develop proposal that would close Main Street to vehicles on weekends By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica’s...

Rents on The Rise In Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – May, 3, 2021

May 3, 2021

May 3, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Rents on The Rise In Santa Monica * Natural Gas Leak...

Woman Killed by Vehicle on 10 Freeway in Santa Monica

May 3, 2021

May 3, 2021

Victim struck at Cloverfield Boulevard on-ramp Sunday night By Sam Catanzaro A woman was struck and killed by a vehicle...

Santa Monica Police Use Naloxone to Save Overdose Victim in Park

April 29, 2021

April 29, 2021

SMPD save woman who has overdosed on Oxocodone By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police used Naloxone to save a woman...

Edify TV: Could Penmar Golf Course Become Affordable Housing?

April 29, 2021

April 29, 2021

Under a state bill facilities like Penmar golf course could be converted into space for affordable housing. Learn more in...