Selbyville Middle School reveals murals, thanks to Freeman Foundation

Shown in front of one of the many murals that are displayed throughout the school are (l-r) Donato, art teacher Mallory Anderson, Grimes, Principal Mike King, Indian River School District Superintendent Susan Bunting and Secondary Instruction Superintendent Will Revels. BY STEVEN BILLUPS
February 18, 2014

Students, parents and administrators Selbyville Middle School, with officials from the Joshua Freeman Foundation, gathered Feb. 10 to witness the reveal of several murals created by the students and local artist John Donato, the creative educator and collaborative muralist for Lead Your Way Solutions.

The project was a result of the partnership of the Indian River School District and the Joshua Freeman Foundation. The emphasis of the mural was linked to the school's motto, Selfless, Motivated, Successful, which also matches the school's initials, SMS. The message of the murals was bullying, and students were encouraged, under the instruction of Donato, to create drawings and words that related there view on how to prevent bullying.

“As one of the few arts organizations in the area, we wanted to find a way to impact and inspire Sussex County students in an immediate way, while providing visual stimulation for future students in the years to come,” said Joshua M. Freeman Foundation Executive Director Patti Grimes. “Studies have shown that students with an active participation in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, lower dropout rates, and even improve attitudes about community service.”