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Gloucester City Students Help Artist Paint Anti-Bullying Mural At MEC

By Kelly Sibree

Gloucester City News


The Mary Ethel Costello (MEC) School in Gloucester CITY has a great summer program called the “Gloucester City Summer Enrichment Program,” which is filled with enthusiastic kids. 

The children participate in fun, academic activities – such as playing games and learning tricks – and also receive a breakfast and a lunch. 

Included in the program are fourth, fifth and sixth graders, and this year Director Kelly Beirne got them to help paint a mural in the school.

Last year Keith Locker had helped Beirne, a talented artist, paint a mural in the entranceway to the school.

“This school year Principal O’Kane and I were talking, and I felt that something with an anti-bullying theme would be a good message to the students,” Beirne said.

The new mural painted this summer is about anti-bullying, and Beirne had help from teachers, secretaries and students.

“In addition to brightening up the hallway, the kids had to work together and helped to come up with some design ideas,” Beirne said.

“It’s been a collaborative effort from faculty, staff and summer enrichment students,” she said. “They’ve enjoyed helping – it’s literally been a ‘hands-on experience’ for them. If the kids are happy, I’m happy. I think I’ve enjoyed doing this project even more that the kids.”

One of the teachers in the program, Señora Loca, said, “We made this mural to remind students that everyday we need to remember to enforce anti-bullying.”

Matthew Purden, one of the students, said “The mural shows that our school will not tolerate bullying.”

Another student, Meadow Stockum, said, “We made the mural because it helps people to stop bullying.”

The children were very excited about the mural, and they were happy to paint their handprints on it.

Meghan Orsino said, “Nobody likes a bully or to be bullied.”

The youngsters seemed to love the summer program, as one, Roice Gaudet, said, “I like this summer program the best.”

Meghan added, “It (the program) helps us to remember what we learned during the school year.” 

The students have a lot of fun, while still learning and retaining their knowledge from the previous school year.