Last year’s tragic events in Pittsburgh and Kentucky shocked the nation. Student leaders of Park’s Service Council wanted to respond.

“We, as members of Service Council, are trying to create a project that shows solidarity in our community: a physical representation of the sentence EVERYONE IS WELCOME AT PARK. We think this sentence portrays a positive message that everyone is valued in our community and we think this project is a way for students to both have fun and be creative, yet at the same time discuss some very relevant and serious topics.”

On Monday afternoon, February 4th, they divided students in Grades V-VIII into 23 groups, one for each letter. Using recycled and reclaimed materials, the kids made individual letters with the following constraints: cannot be bigger than a shoebox, needs to be made out of materials supplied, can only spend 15 minutes to build, and – importantly – must clean up! Eighth graders in each group helped initiate dialogue between the students by asking what it means to be part of a community and how to leave positive messages on the Park community and beyond.