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Dry Ridge Elementary is serious about getting children to read.
That’s what prompted the hallways to become a canvas for nursery rhymes and fairy tales.
Daniel Pagan, special education teacher at DRE, and Sarah Campbell, parent of a second grade student, have spent numerous hours after school working to transform the plain gray and white walls into works of art.
The project started with the talking phase in November with actual paint to wall in February.
“We’ve gotten a good reaction from the kids,” said Pagan. “They’ve been eager to see what comes next.”
“And they’re reading it,” Campbell said. “I hear them talking when I walk down the halls.”
As work began on the Princess and the Pea segment, the students requested the princess’s dress be pink.
“So pink it is,” Campbell said.
For this school year, DRE adopted a theme of DREAMS or Discipline, Respect, Encourage, Achieve, Manners and Safety. Building on that, DRE’s wall now says DRE – a place of nursey rhymes, fairy tales and dreams.
So far, the work is contained to the second and third grade hallway, but other teachers have approached the pair about bringing more literature to life.
“Maybe we could do something where the fifth grade actually do the painting,” Campbell said.
For now, Pagan has committed to painting a dragon in the school’s library.
Pagan is in hopes he can get one of the children’s books he has authored and illustrated published so that he can share his own work with his students.