Local donations boost WMS positivity project

Hunter Herbaugh Ranger-review Staff Writer
Thursday, May 19, 2022
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Pictured, one of the murals painted at Washington Middle School to spread positivity. The project will be continuing this summer. Hunter Herbaugh photo

Local businesses recently donated funds and supplies to Washington Middle School in support of an art project that aims to spread positivity within the school. The project was started earlier this year by WMS Principal Katy Kennedy and local parent Desirae Rilley.

Through this project, Kennedy and Rilley have volunteered to paint new murals in the school that incorporate positive messages for the students. They started by painting these murals in the bathrooms of the school’s science wing, as that a place most students will pass through during the day. Following the initiation of this project, they posed a challenge to local businesses to show their support and, according to Kennedy, that’s exactly what they got.

Following an article in the Feb. 27, 2022 Ranger-Review about the project, Kennedy said that Culver Insurance donated $250 to the effort. This came as a welcome contribution.

“It’s awesome that people are investing in this and that they want to help spread that positivity in the school,” Rilley said.

However, those are not the only funds that were donated to the school for positive art projects. According to Rilley, the bathroom murals are almost done, with the girls bathroom finished and the boys underway. Once that is done, Kennedy has plans to carry on the mission of creating positive murals through a more formal initiative.

This summer she said will be the first annual “Spreading Kindness like Confetti” project. Though technically separate from the bathroom art project, the goal is the same, spreading positivity through encouraging murals, though the next ones will be in the locker rooms. Kennedy anticipates that this will be a larger project that will take more volunteers, noting that it will be a partnership with the Parent-Teacher Association.

“We have not started as this is a big project and will take many volunteers and it will be much easier if students are not in school at the time,” Kennedy said.

Funds have also already been raised for the project, with local business Sugar Plum Jewelry recently holding an auction and donating the proceeds to the school. According to Kennedy, about $1,750 was donated.

Aside from financial contributions, the art projects have also received donations of supplies, with Ranch and Farm donating $75 worth of supplies and Runnings just recently donating more as well. Kennedy currently does not have an estimate for how much in supplies Runnings actually donated.

“We are whole-heartedly grateful for the business’ support and the amazing individuals who are helping us work on this project,” Kennedy said.

Meanwhile, Rilley noted they are also still looking for donations for the bathroom art project as well.

Reach Hunter Herbaugh at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.