Students at Ponoka Elementary School gathered in the front of the school April 26 to witness the unveiling of the mural they assisted in creating, a project that was designed to show how the school is connected to the community. Photo by submitted

Ponoka Elementary unveils community mural

Mural constructed with student help designed to bring inside of school to the outside

The final result was finally revealed to the public.

A mural that was about a year in the making was uncovered in a ceremony at Ponoka Elementary School (PES) recently.

“It was very exciting. The beautiful weather and the sunshine helped catch the sparkle in the tiles,” said Laeta Morskate, an educational assistant at PES and one of the staff members that came up with the project concept.

Edmonton artist Debra Bryan was commissioned in 2017 to help with the project and,with the help of school staff, developed the subjects and ultimate outline of the smashed tile mural. The actual building of the mural took nearly three weeks with students helping place and grout the tiles.

“It started out with us as a school trying to figure out where and how PES fit into our community and how the mural would represent the school,” Morskate said.

“We have seven communities, from playschool to Grade 6, and one horse representing each community. It’s kind of us trying to be the little sisters and brothers to the Broncs (at Ponoka Secondary Campus). It’s named A Growing Community as it represents the small community — our classes — building on the larger community — the school — plus about how education is growing people, growing minds and growing our community.”

Grade 5 teacher Paula Wilkins, who was also involved in getting the project off the ground, was proud of how each class came together and the connection the mural has to Ponoka.

“It was really important to get what was going on inside out there. We went through the renovation process inside, but the outside of the building didn’t change,” she said.

Many of those community connections are easily noticed in the mural. There is a grain elevator, the Battle River, Siding 14, Maskwacis and the horses representing movement and growth.

The project was paid for by a $2,000 donation from the school’s parent council with the rest of the nearly $5,500 needed coming from the recycling fundraising done at the school.

“We are hoping to use the mural as a starting point in the rebranding of PES,” Morskate added.

“This will include looking at finding a new logo, possibly a mascot. This will all help us figure out who we are.”

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