Positive Messages for Posterity

Positive Messages for Posterity
Posted on 05/21/2021

Fifth graders at Hicksville’s Old Country Road School have created a lasting memory of their final academic year at the school by creating a unique art installation. Each student painted a handful-sized river rock with colorful designs and messages of inspiration and hope. All the rocks were then placed into a square of concrete. Each of the three classes, including a remote class, will have the hardened concrete tiles installed somewhere on the school grounds. 

The idea for the project came from Mrs. Laura McConnell, Principal at the school, who was inspired by Linda Kranz’ book, Only One You. The book celebrates each person’s uniqueness while being an important part of a community. The children’s book features uniquely painted, colorful “rockfish.” Principal McConnell spoke with art teacher Melissa Butler to see if creating an art installation using rocks was a way her “senior” students could leave something permanent behind that was meaningful to them.  

Mrs. Butler loved the idea. “I asked that the students paint something about kindness or something that meant something to them that they could come back and view for years to come,” said the art teacher. “This is the first year doing this and we hope to have the fifth grade class create one every year and we will add on to what will be a stepping stone pathway.”

Mr. Chad Wyman, Supervisor of Fine & Performing Arts, agreed that the project embodies important, long-lasting ideals. “The stones illustrate each students’ individuality while coming together as a group. It’s another example of how art and life reflect each other.”

Congratulations to OCR’s fifth grade artists for creating these beautiful, lasting memories!   

OCR 5th grade

Fifth grade students in Mrs. Garelick’s class at OCR displayed the concrete tile (center) they created featuring stones they painted with messages of inspiration and hope. Also joining for the photos are the classroom teacher Mrs. Garelick (far left), Principal McConnell (second from left), Supervisor of Fine & Performing Arts Mr. Chad Wyman (far right) and art teacher Melissa Butler (second from right).

OCR 5th grade

The artists from Mrs. Korenschtein’s (far left) class displayed their stepping stone outside OCR. 

OCR 5th grade

Parents of remote students in Mrs. Pramataris’ (far left) class were kind enough to bring the students to OCR for a photo with their tile. These students had not been together, in-person as a class, all year. When asked what it was like to see each other again, the students commented: “Happy,” “Powerful,” Weird,” and “Good!”