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A graphic new way of imparting useful information has been created at an Inner Southeast school

RITA A. LEONARD - Heres the new Friendship mural at Abernethy Elementary School. You have gotten used to such external school decorations around town as handmade "fish" posted on street fencing; but an Inner Southeast school has come up with something new and different – and potentially more instructive.

Abernethy Elementary School, at 2421 S.E. Orange Street, now features "teaching murals" on the north side of its playground. A large mural on the wall of a portable classroom along S.E. Birch Street features colorful cartoon figures sharing smiles and flowers, along with the question, "How do you make friends?"

Nearby, a 30-inch-tall mural recently painted by Abernethy parents in frames the Student Garden. Created by Murielle Adair and Leah Woods, the image displays lifecycles of tomato plants and insects, and it also labels illustrations of plant, seed, flower, insect parts.

The Friendship mural, completed in last July by Gary Hirsch of www.botjoy.com – we're reported previously of other murals he's done in Inner Southeast – is one of his local interactive murals designed to bring joy and positive feelings. On his Twitter account, Hirsch observes that his aim is to create "thousands of hand-painted robots that roam the world looking for joy, bravery, love, and coffee!"

Together, these paintings enhance social and scientific skills for children and visitors to the school's playground, while adding to their vocabulary and artistic skills. The Friendship mural, which demonstrates sharing and friendliness, also integrates two on-site electrical meters into the figures, demonstrating clever new uses for geometric shapes.


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