Kids & Family

Kids' Colorful Artwork Raises Spirits, Encourages Peace And Unity

They turned boarded up store windows into a message of hope for their entire community.



Sometimes bridges between people can be built without saying a word. And sometimes it takes children to show us how to do it.



That's what happened in Kalamazoo, MI, where an art teacher saw windows boarded up on businesses downtown, and envisioned a blank canvas where her kids' colorful artwork could encourage unity and tolerance during a time when that seems to be in short supply.

Students Kanley Covault, Darek Roberts, Jasmine Liggins and Justin Liggins created art on boarded up windows in downtown Kalamazoo.Kalamazoo School District/Facebook

Mandy Clearwaters recruited four of her students from Kalaazoo's Maple Street and Winchell Elementary Schools to join together to paint the boards with positive messages and artwork. The kids got to choose the images and words they wanted to use, and we think you'll agree, the final product is insightful.

Kids create artwork on boarded up businesses in Michigan www.youtube.com

The reaction from the public was immediate -- and overwhelmingly positive. "We were on the mall today, and it was absolutely beautiful," wrote Sarah Bryans on the Kalamazoo School District Facebook page. "Great job, guys."


Cherri Emery agreed. "This is just fantastic!" she wrote. "Kids get it and are so in tune and free with their expressions!"

Darak Roberts begins to fill in his painting, which you can see in its finished state, above.Kalamazoo School District/Facebook

The kids and their parents were pleasantly surprised with the praise. "Many people walked by and offered kind words about what the kids were doing," Dionna Roberts old CBS News.


Her 11-year old Darak. who is headed into 6th grade, told CBS the meaning behind his art was simple: "The beauty of black people and nature and how we can share it peacefully."

Each student came up with their own concept, depending on what they wanted to convey.Kalamazoo School District/Facebook

Their teacher, Ms. Clearwaters, was amazed at the impact her students and their art has made. "These kids are above and beyond amazing. I'm so proud of them."



We agree! Way to go Ms. Clearwaters and the students for reminding us, and everyone who walks by your art, that we can come together!

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