Douglas High art students paint for community |

Douglas High art students paint for community

by Andy Bourelle

Douglas High School art students recently finished a six-week project which not only helped them learn about art but also working with the community.

During that time, 25 students went to Valley Meadows Care Center in the Gardnerville Ranchos and painted a mural on one of the walls. Tenth-, 11th- and 12th-grade students painted images of John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe an old train and more on a wall about 6 feet high and 20 feet wide.

“I think the students enjoyed it. I think they learned a lot. It was kind of a first for us,” said DHS art teacher Rita Borselli. “To me, I feel its not just about painting and drawing. It’s about navigating yourself in the world. This kind of assignment is so important because it lets the kids get the most out of learning.”

The students, accompanied by Borselli and aide Sheryl Bjerke, went to the school about 15 times during the six-week period.

Working in the nursing home was a big learning experience for the students, Borselli said.

“Some of the students were not used to seeing older people like that,” she said. “A lot of times you don’t see how the other half lives. All of us learned a lot.”

Borselli said she hopes the project also will help Valley Meadows.

“Valley Meadows is great. (Assistant Administrator) James Filbin does a wonderful job. He wants life in there. That’s why he brought us in,” she said.

A Community Service Learning grant funded the project, providing money for supplies and transportation. Borselli said the students – representing every facet of the student body – were introductory-level art students but nevertheless did a fantastic job.

“I think they all did a very good job,” she said. “They did the best they could. They pulled it off.”

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