ROUND AND ROUND — Volunteers walk through the labyrinth they helped build on May 16 at Meredith Nicholson School 96. Students and staff also joined in the fun, helping to paint bricks and benches in what the school is calling the Peace Garden. Below is one of the benches painted by some of the students.
On May 16, 70 community volunteers from Community Reinvestment Foundation (CRF), ProAct, PAXWorks and Art with a Heart rolled up their sleeves to work with teachers and students to beautify the school grounds at Meredith Nicholson School 96.
The centerpiece project was a labyrinth, also called a walking path or maze, with one way in and one way out. PAXWorks designed the maze made with 900 stone pavers that were painted by the students. The paver designs included symbols and words of peace. The labyrinth will serve as a quiet place for students to relax and find focus.
Volunteers built several features around the labyrinth, including elevated garden beds, an outdoor classroom and bird feeders. The area will be known as the Peace Garden.
Principal Dr. Michele Jackson is pleased with the outcome.
“Part of my philosophy as a principal is to say ‘yes’ as much as I can to my teachers and create and model positivity. The Winged Labyrinth and Community Work Day came directly from my philosophy,” said Jackson. “(Teachers) Mrs. Peterson and Mrs. Turner asked for a labyrinth at the beginning of the year, so we wrote that into our School Improvement Grant from the state of Indiana.”
Jackson was overwheled with gratitude with the volunteer response the school received for this project.
“Having over 70 community volunteers here, making this dream come true, was an incredible experience,” she said. “I am bursting with pride at the accomplishments of our staff, students and community! It’s amazing what can happen when we live out our school motto for this year: We are all in this together.”
Here’s what some of Meredith Nicholson students had to say about the labyrinth:
- “It’s bigger than I thought it would be. When I walked it, the sand felt good through my shoes. It was good to see Ms. Kliewer’s pictures, and when I was walking and running on it, it helped me calm down.” – Santana R., Grade 2
- “The labyrinth is awesome because we put our own creativity in it. I put ‘joy’ and rainbows on my brick. When I walked it, I was happy because of all the creative words on the ground.” –R’Mani C., Grade 5
- “The labyrinth reminds me of the heart of Moana.” –Janelsy D., Grade 3