School's hallways come alive with color thanks to students [North Laurel/Savage]

Laurel Leader

A stunning enhancement is happening at Patuxent Valley Middle School in Jessup. A creative group of sixth, seventh and eighth graders have banded together under the leadership of Youth Pastor Mandy Monson from Bethel Assembly of God, just down the road from the school. They have been collaborating and creating a unique mural in the main hallway of their school that reflects the mission of Patuxent Valley Middle School — 'Invest to Connect; Instruct to Equip; Inspire to Engage.' These three cornerstone statements will be integrated into the final mural. Monson feels strongly that clubs like these invest in students by giving them healthy opportunities to connect with new friends, teachers and leaders. She says, "As I instruct the students through the mural process, I know they will be equipped for a variety of future tasks, such as knowing how to safely use tools, paint a room in their home or communicate as a team player. As students work together and contribute to the bigger picture, they develop an ownership of their surroundings that inspires them to engage in a healthy culture and community."

Principal Rick Robb was looking for some décor solutions for the bare hallways and Monson had the answer. She says, "I love investing in young people and wanted to share my talent for creativity and passion for the arts in a way that would make a healthy impact on my community." She describes the small group of middle schoolers as excellent communicators who are unified in their vision. They have been meeting weekly throughout the summer for about five hours at a time. The project, while still unfinished, looks as if a professional muralist did the work so it is impressive to see what these creative children have done. I am sure the finished product will amaze and excite their classmates and teachers when they return to school in September.

On Thursday, Aug. 8, there will be a meeting of the Southern Howard County Civic Association at the North Laurel Community Center on Whiskey Bottom Road. The discussion is planned for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and will focus on a proposal for a Best Western hotel on Route 1. Questions and comments can be directed to Bibi Perrotte-Foston at 240-786-5747.

Do you or someone you know need community service hours for graduation or for recognition into the National Honor Society or some other organization? There will be an opportunity at Hammond Elementary School on Tuesday, Aug. 29 and Thursday, Aug. 31. Back-to-School Night will be held on those nights and assistance with child care is needed for two shifts each evening, 5:30 to 7 p.m. or 7 to 8:30 p.m. Volunteers will work directly with school staff from Hammond Elementary to supervise children, ages 3 through 10. If you are interested you can contact Deanna Godbout at 410-880-5890 or

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