Watching the way birds soar through the air can be captivating for a child.
Standing in front of a collaborative wing project entitled “Together We Will Soar” at Middletown Prairie Elementary will not only captivate children, but also encourage them to do the little things that matter.
The project idea originated when Middletown Prairie Art Teacher Jeramie Truax visited Nashville with her children this summer. The Truax family took a break in Nashville to stretch their legs at a free art museum on their way back from Florida.
But before they left the city known for its music, food and creative spirit, her oldest daughter wanted to visit a mural painted by Kelsey Montague entitled “What Lifts You.”
Using 60 white paint pens, Montague painted 20-foot wings on a black brick wall. Visitors come to take photographs and to dream of what it might be like to have enormous wings that lift.
Truax stored the experience away and headed back to Mahomet as she began to prepare for the upcoming school year, where her theme this year is “Treat Everyone Like It’s Their Birthday.”
“We talked about how it feels when it’s your birthday and how we can spread kindness by doing this,” Truax said. “We have been focusing on how being kind makes everyone feel so good.”
When Truax shared her summer story with her second-grade class, they decided it would be a good idea to make wings for Middletown Prairie so that other students could also be inspired.
Second-grade students were tasked with making an individual feather for the “Together We Will Soar” exhibit.
Truax said she picked second-graders to be the creators of the piece because she had formed a trusting relationship with them the previous year.
“When I told them they wouldn’t get their feather back, that they were just to be a part of the installation, they trusted and believed me,” she said. “We talked about how you can be inspired by art anywhere and you can always make a vision come true.
“Small things together can make something beautiful,” Truax added. “Just like small acts of kindness together makes a much happier place.”
Truax extended an invitation to classroom teachers to bring their students down to the mural.
“As a teacher, I am proud to see it all came together,” she said. “I decided to call our wings ‘Together We Will Soar’ because I believe that if we all come together and do small things that in fact, bigger and better things will come.
“Just like each small feather created this large and impressive set of wings. The feathers alone would not be as impressive or memorable, but together they shine!”