Contributed by Head of Grade 1 Taryn Rumph

This year, one of the Lower School’s social science focal points is  “We, Not Me”. Students will explore their own cultural identity while learning about those around them who may share different cultural backgrounds. In hopes to increase our sense of community and celebrate the diversity within it, we thought it would be meaningful to collaborate with Grade 4 on a community building project.

Grade 4 began this exploration two years ago when they created self-portraits in Grade 2. Because of their background with the project, they were the perfect group to pair with Grade 1 to mix skin tones for a community mural. The project began with a visit from Brandi Hoyos, who read two stories that celebrated various shades of skin tones.

Then, Lower School Visual Arts Instructor Karinna Riddett shared a secret paint formula to create a shade for the perfect skin match. Each Grade 4 student was partnered with a Grade 1 student, and they got to work! Each student mixed paint to match their skin tone, and then painted their hand and placed it on our community mural.

Students also used post-its to respond to the question, “What does it mean to be a part of the MV community?” The collaboration was a success!

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