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Featured in USA Today Travel - Christmas Lights


Artwork showcases multi-cultural student body

(Happy Valley, OR  6-11-13) There is much to celebrate today as the school year winds down at Scouters Mountain Elementary in the Portland suburb of Happy Valley. In a school populated by a virtual United Nations of cultures with no less than a dozen languages spoken in homes, diversity is at the core of the curriculum.

School Art ProjectAn innovative and energetic group of teachers and students decided to create a work of visual art that would showcase their school’s cultural diversity. They envisioned a collection of murals representing the continents of the world and the rich mixture of culture that came from each country.

The challenge – in these tough economic times there was no budget for the visual arts.

To raise the money for the materials – panels, paint and brushes – the students of Julie Budeau’s 5th grade class entered a children’s art contest sponsored by Winter Wonderland, Portland’s annual holiday light show held at PIR. In 2011, their entry won by popular vote the first place prize of $1000. In 2012, they won again.

With $2000 in seed money, the Scouters Mountain students set out to create a collection of art pieces that would live on for years to come.

The project included the artistic talents of students at each grade level – kindergarten to fifth – and the finished work displays a level of quality and style far beyond their years.

On June 10th, the first half of the 2-year project was mounted on the walls of the school.

Today, (Tuesday, June 11) the students will be signing yearbooks, enjoying a barbeque, and posing for pictures beneath the celebration of diversity they created together.

Special thanks to Miller Paint Co. for donating supplies.

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