Sioux Falls Elementary School Mural Dedicated to Courage

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – October is National Bullying Prevention Month and one elementary school in Sioux Falls is doing its part to raise awareness, but not in a conventional way.

Students are using art to send a message.

Lowell Elementary students Nolan and Lilly know kids can be mean.

“I got bullied a lot for my hair, my body because I was small and I was like the smallest kid in my class,” says student Nolan Smith.

“She called me a really mean name,” says student Lilly Boyum.

Many people don’t want to share their struggles. Nolan’s not one of them.

“People would call me names, make fun of me, sometimes they would hit me and push me down,” Nolan says.

Lowell Elementary is sending a message…

“Fly with your courage even though you sometimes don’t have the guts to do it,” says Lilly.

The art project is simple. It’s a mural in the design of angel wings. Each kid in grades 1 through 5 designed a feather representing what courage means to them. The end product? A one of a kind piece.

“Uniqueness in our collaborative piece that each individual feather can be a whole and show our wings of courage,” says elementary art teacher Heather Crosby.

The mural isn’t only inspiring kids to hold their ground, but to handle bullies with maturity.

“I had the courage to stand up for myself and I walked away without making a fight,” says Nolan.

“I just walked away and I tried not to think about it because I don’t want to think about stuff that’s not true about me,” says Lilly.

And, to have enough confidence to give a friend a second chance.

“There was this one girl in kindergarten, she wasn’t really nice to me, but now she’s like one of my best friends,” says Lilly.

Showing that courage can do more than boost self-worth. It can influence those around us.

Elementary art teacher Heather Crosby says the mural is inspired by artist Kelsey Montague. Montague designed a “What Lifts You” curriculum to teach kids about street art.

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