One of Kyrene de la Sierra Elementary’s hallways has sprouted a tree, soon to be adorned by leaves as students display good deeds.

After Dave Maloney, Sierra’s principal, saw a similar project done at another nearby school he was inspired to bring the idea to his students and staff. When a student is caught doing a good deed, even as simple as holding a door open for another, they will be recognized with a leaf added to the tree with their name on it.

Gail Kronick, a coordinator for the Sierra Parent-Teacher Organization, said the mural has been a great addition.

“It’s really gotten everyone involved, and the kids love it,” she said.

On the issue of bullying, which has been a concern for parents in the district, Kronick hopes that the mural will serve as inspiration or bravery to stand up to bullies or to not bully at all.

“It’s community building,” Kronick added.

The mural was painted on a hallway south of the school’s library by Sierra parent and artist Sandy Marshall.

Donating her own supplies, Marshall nearly completed the mural that depicts a meadow-like scene with animals and flowers in about two weeks at the start of the school year.

During the process, she invited students to help her with filling in the grass, adding small flowers and even the pale, blue sky as the mural’s backdrop.

Marshall will also add something new to the mural every Tuesday, as she promised the students, Kronick said.

“I don’t think it will ever really be complete,” Marshall said in a release from the Sierra PTO. “(The students) said they didn’t want it to end.”


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