The school's theme is "kindness always." And now Al Seeliger Elementary School students will have a constant reminder.
"When the kids play ball on the ball wall, they'll think of the kindness theme and how they're supposed to act," said Gabrielle Gallegos, 16.
As part of "Kindness Always: Mission Possible" month in March, the students wrote essays and drew pictures based on that theme.
Kristi Shaffer, 11, painted the winning picture of multi-colored students surrounding a heart-shaped world.
"It shows that no matter what you look like or what color you are, we are all friends," she said. "It symbolizes kindness and that we should all be kind to each other."
Gallegos, a former Seeliger Elementary student, transformed the painting into a mural to cover the school's ball wall.
"It was fun, I enjoyed it," Gallegos said. "It's bright and cheery. It's just a really nice image."
Students were chosen through a lottery to help paint the mural.
Halee Ackerman, 11, was one of them.
"When I walked through the gates when we were all done, I was like, 'Oh, my gosh,'" she said. "It's so beautiful."
On Friday, the students who helped with the mural dipped their hands in paint to leave their prints on the wall.
"It was really cold and it just felt really gushy," said Lea Peterson, 9. "But it's really cool."
The activities were organized by the school's parent-teacher-student association. During March they emphasized kindness, encouraging students to sign contracts pledging tolerance, and culminated with an assembly at the end of the month.
"With all that's going on in the world today, we really wanted to focus on kindness at Seeliger," said Anja Peterson, the PTSA's vice president for fund-raising. "We wanted them to think about being kind to others."
And the message is getting across.
"You should be friends and not enemies," said Sam Blei, 10. "You should be nice to people who are different colors."
Contact Teri Vance at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 881-1272.