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West Shore Fourth Graders in step with their heritage - abc27 WHTM

West Shore Fourth Graders in step with their heritage

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For over a hundred fourth graders at Sporting Hill Elementary School, it's not only the completion of a class project, it's a permanent and personal link to their past. It's a walkway of over a hundred mosaic stepping stones connecting the school building to its nearby environmental rain garden. Each stone was designed by a student, symbolizing the young artist's heritage.

Chase Aderhold's stone ties his family to England. "My great grandma went to England and my great, great grandma went to England," he explained, pointing to his stone, "so I thought it would be really cool to make Big Ben for them."

For the kids, the project involved a mixture of colorful tiles, concrete and imagination.

Reily Anderson honored her parents with her mosaic masterpiece. "My dad's German and my mom's British," she explained, "so I did the two flags."

The young artisans were assisted by parents and volunteer helpers, preparing the soil, installing the stones and then proudly explaining their abstract designs

Braden Mercer's stone colorfully proclaimed his Polish pride. "I picked the person playing soccer because I'm from Poland and their main sport is soccer," said Mercer.

Art teacher Lisa Gardner said a heritage theme was a natural choice for the walkway.

"I was inspired to do this project because the kids at our school are from all different countries around the world," Gardner said. " We have a large number of kids in the ESL (English as a Second Language) program and many of them speak different languages, of course. We thought we wanted to celebrate our diversity through something unifying."

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