Cleaning Up Graffiti

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Thursday June 28, 2012

If you have ever wondered if the youth of today care about their communities, some 6th grade students at FHTMS have an answer for you. This school year they learned about graffiti and studying the effects it has on communities.  Through many hours of research and hard work they have accomplished a great deal to be proud of.

The students began their graffiti project by researching the history of graffiti and gaining a greater sense of art versus vandalism. They interviewed key players in the graffiti removal movement, such as Nicky Beaudoin, the director of the City of Burlington’s Graffiti Removal Program; as well as South Burlington School Resource Officer Kevin Grealis.  They travelled around South Burlington seeking out local businesses that had been affected by graffiti and interviewed their managers and employees. Ultimately, after all their research, these students found that they wanted to take action.
To gain some experience, the students spent a day assisting the Burlington Graffiti Removal Team and painting over graffiti in downtown Burlington. With a little experience under their belt, they moved their efforts to South Burlington, which does not have a formal program for graffiti removal.  So with permission from the Department of Transportation and the South Burlington Police Department, the students went to work. They focused on the bridge at the end of Interstate 189 by Shelburne Road, where graffiti had overrun the underbelly of the bridge as well as all of its pillars.  After a long day of hard work and painting, the students accomplished their goal. The bridge is now free from graffiti and South Burlington has been brightened by the hands of middle school students that care about their community.

SOURCE: Anne Stetson