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Students Create Mural for Drop-In Center

Ivory Perez’ world in mural form depicts possibilities for her future, she explained while painting a car, music notes, mountains and the sun bordered by the words, “create” and “never give up.”

“It’s something that inspires you to createyour own world,” said the seventh-grade Kelloggsville Middle School student. “You’re the creator. There’s no one that can change your opinion.”

Students painted a new mural, funded by a Kent ISD service learning grant, at The DOCK Ministry, an after-school drop-in center for Kelloggsville students, located across the street from the middle school, 4650 Division Ave. SE. Through words and pictures, students shared how they see themselves in the future and how they hope to impact the community.Seventh-grade student Olivia Alonso mixes paint

“You grow up, you change. You want to be able to have a range of options,” said Ivory, who hopes to become an engineer.

Expressing Themselves

Students were asked to come up with an idea to paint on the wall with the theme of “Community Coming Together,” said teacher Marcia Cisler, who helped coordinate the project. Seventeen students came up with designs and spent two days painting things they love: trumpets, dolphins, pianos, images resembling computer graphics, houses and more now stretch across the wall.

“People can see what we want to be when we grow up,” said seventh-grade student Chandon Reed.

“I think that expressing my inner self helps me believe in what I want to achieve,” added Alyssa
Roark, a seventh grader.

Ivory Perez works on her piece of the muralThe mural is the latest piece of art created by students for the center. The DOCK, which stands for Discipling of Christ’s Kids, offers somewhere for kids in their preteen and teen years to go after school. Paster Wayne Ondersma and his wife, Sue, opened the center in 2005 for students in the community to gather for athletics, homework help, crafts, Bible study and just to hang out.

In 2010, more than 100 middle school students painted six doors to create a mural depicting the neighborhood and its cultural diversity. In 2011, students created another mural out of clay tile pieces with the theme, “Pay it Forward. In 2012, they designed 10 tabletops with art work reflecting the Kelloggsville Rocket mascot.

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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