COURTESY PHOTO On their first day back to school recently, Fred Wild Elementary teachers create encouraging and inspirational signs and art work.

SEBRING – Fred Wild Elementary School teachers and staff got out their paint brushes and stencils recently to decorate the school with positive and inspiring messages for students.

On their first day back to school, teachers worked in groups creating art with encouraging and inspiring messages for their students.

Also, about a dozen teachers and staff members worked during the summer to decorate the boys and girls bathrooms with colorful positive messages such as: “Kindness Changes Everything,” “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful,” “Believe You Can” and “Being Nice is the Coolest.”

Polka dots and colorful hearts punctuate some of the messages.

Principal Jeannie Inagawa said faculty and staff volunteered their time during the summer to do the makeovers in the two girls and two boys bathrooms.

One of the boys bathrooms has a college and career theme, which includes pennants from colleges and universities along with positive and inspirational sayings, including a quote from legendary football coach Vince Lombardi – “There is only one way to succeed in anything ... and that is to give it everything.”

The college pennants go with the school’s AVID program, which encourages students to excel and go to college, Inagawa noted.

The school’s courtyard features artwork on the sidewalk depicting the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People.

“We are still using the Seven Habits, but we are focusing on PBIS [Positive Behavior Intervention Support] and AVID, those are our core focus,” Inagawa said.

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) at the elementary level teaches and reinforces academic behaviors and higher-level thinking that students will need to be successful in middle school, high school and college.

Guidance resource teacher Leslie Owens, starting her second year at Fred Wild Elementary, offered the reason behind the bathroom makeovers.

“We had some issues in the past with students writing unkind things in the bathrooms so we wanted to give them a nice space that maybe they would appreciate a little more and take ownership of and respect,” she said.

They found some ideas online, put them together and went with it, she said.


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