Durham students leave their mark through literacy and art

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Each student at Lakewood Elementary School in Durham got a chance to put their own stamp right on the school.

On Friday, Durham Mayor Steve Schewel joined the students, faculty staff at Lakewood to complete a community mural project. The mural that now sits on the wall outside Lakewood adjacent to the bus circle is the work of local artist Ben Hamburger and parent volunteers.

"This was really like coming alive right in front of them. They got to see the mural each day throughout the process from priming the wall to sketching it out, color by color until the final product when they got to add to it," Hamburger said.

The students added the finishing touches to the painting by stamping bulldog paws, the school mascot, all along the bottom.

The project was inspired by this year's Read for the Record campaign selection, Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy.

The book celebrates the magic that can happen when a community comes together to create something beautiful to bring about change. This year, 469 students and adults at Lakewood joined millions of other people across America participating in the campaign launched more than a decade ago to highlight the importance of early literacy.

The community mural project was the result of a partnership between Lakewood and local nonprofit Book Harvest. Book Harvest's mission is to promote children's lifelong literacy by providing books to children in need, so they can have their own small libraries at home.

"We're actually getting ready to give away our one-millionth book, so it's a super-exciting year for us and we're excited to have this be a part of that," said Book Harvest events manager Daniele Berman.

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