Leechburg students are beautifying the school bathrooms
Forget boring and generic school bathrooms.
Art students at Leechburg Area High School are giving their plain bathrooms and locker rooms makeovers — painting colorful inspirational quotes and themes on the walls — part of a new project dubbed the Be-YOU-tification Project.
Inspired by a social media posting that featured a U.S. school that transformed its bathrooms from drab and dreary areas into inspirational and fun spaces, art teacher Shayle Prorok says this new project is a “win-win.”
“We are beautifying the school, as well as beautifying attitudes and images, as well as encouraging students to be themselves,” says Prorok, who made up the project name thinking it was a great play on words. “The students have always talked about the bathrooms and how they need some pizazz.”
About 10 art students have kicked off the project, which will take up to two years to complete. Boys bathrooms are next, and Prorok notes that each bathroom involves 10 to 30 hours of painting hours to complete.
Eventually all bath/locker rooms will be painted schoolwide.
The goal of the project is to promote kindness, self-esteem, acceptance and a warm atmosphere, Prorok says.
Leechburg School District Superintendent Tiffany Nix didn't hesitate to approve this project.
“Our goal for every student is to be kind and giving to each other and to our community,” Nix says. “This project is a perfect avenue for our students to promote their own talents while sharing it with others.”
“The students are loving it,” says Prorok on the feedback from faculty and students.
More students are slated to add their creative painting skills to the project, with a November painting night on tap that will include art students from the elementary school.
Some student selected quotes on the consideration list are:
• “Be A Rainbow In Someone Else's Cloud”
• “Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It”
• “Do The Right Thing Even When No one Is Looking”
• “Mirror On The Wall There Is A Leader In Us All”
• “Everyone Is Welcome Because Nobody's Perfect And Anything Is Possible”
Students work together in groups, deciding on a theme for each space.
The fifth-floor high school wing will showcase bathroom designs and quotes from famed Irish poet/playwright Oscar Wilde.
“Experience is the name we give our mistakes” is one Wilde quote art student Karalyn Zeff has painted. When completed, the bathroom will feature a starry night sky scene.
A fourth-floor bathroom quote with a sunflower theme is currently being worked on and will read, “Be A Sunflower, Stand Tall On The Darkest Days To Find The Sunlight”.
“I think this project will make girls think more positively about themselves,” says art student and junior Julia Cominos.
Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.