Oriskany kids share colorful message

Published Oct 1, 2017 at 9:00am

ORISKANY — N.A. Walbran Elementary School on Route 69 is adding some color to the world with children’s creation of a painted rock garden featured at the front of the school that was inspired by a children’s tale.

The idea of the technicolor garden was dreamed up by art teacher Kim Jordan.

Each year students complete a project during the first art class of the school year to display in school and that incorporates the elementary school’s Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports theme.

“Last spring we saw the idea of the rock garden on Pinterest and thought it would be a great idea,” said Principal Karen Cianfrocco Hinderling. “It is based on the book, ‘Only One You,’ by Linda Kranz. Our PBIS theme this year is, ‘Oh the Places You Will Go,’ which focuses on Innovation and Growth Mindset.

The book is about two adult parent fish and the wisdom they share with their child fish.”

Jordan said she asked her pupils what the author’s message was, and that became the inspiration for their rock art.

“I asked what they thought the author’s message was, and we discussed what it meant to be unique and to be the best you, you can be,” the teacher said. “We talked about growth mindset, and we discussed how they can make the world a better place.

Our first step was to make a rock garden to beautify the bus circle.”

The goal of the project is to show how unique each student is, but also how beautiful everyone looks when they all come together, Hinderling said.

“Ms. Jordan read the book and then instructed each student to paint it in the own unique way,” the principal explained. “Every staff member also painted a rock. Our favorite quote from the book is. ‘There’s only one you in this great big world...make it a better place.’”

And despite the weather becoming wintery in the next few months, Hinderling said the school purchased a special type of paint so the rock garden near the bus circle can remain in place for the entire school year.  

N.A. Walbran is comprised of Pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. Each pupil painted a rock, totaling approximately 320.