In school, the washrooms are stereotypically a place of graffiti and negativity. But Spencer Middle school is trying to break that stereotype as part of a new project.
The school’s washrooms were recently decorated with inspirational messages, posters, flowers and butterflies to promote positivity and instill a sense of pride in students.
“We wanted it to be another comfortable place in the school,” said education assistant Sandy Kadar, who decorated the bathrooms along with Denene Clark.
“We just wanted the school to have a positive feeling and the kids to feel like they belong here and feel safe, and the bathrooms are a part of it. Everybody has to go into the bathroom.”
The project started in the weeks leading up to anti-bullying day on Feb. 28, when principal Jennifer Nixon encouraged students to create posters that showcased ways to be kind as part of a contest.
From there, Kadar and Clark came up with the idea of transforming the posters into works of art and using them to “bedazzle” washroom walls and stall doors. The duo started with one girls washroom as a trial run in April, using supplies from the Dollar Store.
Since then, all six of the school’s washrooms – both boys and girls – have been decorated, with Kadar and Clark currently working on decorating the wheelchair accessible washroom.
“So often we think the people educating the children are teachers, but this shows it takes a community to educate a child, whether that’s the teachers working in classrooms, educational assistants, the custodian working in the hallways,” said Nixon, adding earlier this year one of the boys’ washrooms was vandalized, but hopes the new decorations will deter graffiti in the future.
“Everybody plays a part in helping shape a child’s day. We have the power to help their days be really positive.”
Posters include sayings such as “Do what makes you happy,” “The only way to have a friend is to be one,” “Wish it, dream it, do it,” and “Follow the sun not the rain.”
Students are embracing the new art as well.
“I know the bathroom, for some people, is a place where they can recollect if they’re having a bad day, and to see all the stuff on the walls definitely helps you with your confidence and makes you feel better about yourself,” said Grade 8 student Trinity Dentoom. “It’s really nice to have up there.”