>> Tania Wegwitz

This spring, you can help welcome back the George Jay kids to Fernwood, beautify our neighbourhood, and make art happen on the grand scale. Local artists and George Jay students are set to paint a huge mural for the Cook Street side of their school, but they need your help to make it happen.

With new gardens and playgrounds recently added and a seismic upgrade nearing completion, students, parents, and school staff are now looking at how the school building itself can be used to tell the story of the school’s tremendous diversity and sense of community.

“Kids, parents and teachers were unanimous,” said PAC President Kate Wallace. “They wanted colour and a sense of joy to welcome people to our refurbished school on the Cook Street side.”

Local artists Joanne Thomson, Jennifer Johnson, and Beth Threlfall have teamed up to donate half their time to work with the George Jay kids to create a series of murals to help provide that welcome.

The pieces will include two 24’ by 12’ murals that will frame the west end of the school’s primary wing, as well as two 8′ by 8′ murals on the gym’s west wall. The pieces will include a motif of an eagle and the sun symbolizing strength, protection, and welcome, large scale images of kids reproduced from pictures drawn by the students, and the school’s “Learning to care, caring to learn” motto in the many languages spoken by its students.

The work is set to begin in May but the kids need your help to fund the remaining $3,500 of the $6,000 project. You can help make it happen by donating at www.georgejaypac.com or dropping off a cheque (payable to “George Jay Elementary” and noting “Mural Project”) at the school’s temporary location at 2780 Richmond Rd.

For more information, please call Tania Wegwitz at 250-995-0161.