Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

GR family gives back to school


Courtesy photo

Marsha and Anna Harris are busy painting a couple of states in the United States of America map at Harrison Elementary School.

Just because one completes a project one year doesn't mean it's done for good.

This is something the Marsha Harris family knows all to well. For at least the past 10 years, the family has been maintaining a United States of America map they stenciled and painted at the Harrison Elementary School playground.

This year, the family was back at it again.

Last week, they met at the school with primary paint colors, red, blue and yellow, in hand. They were ready to repaint the map and then outline it with white paint.

"This is just a redo," Harris said.

Harris can recall how the first year the family had to stencil the map out before they could even move onto painting it. They also had to decide which states to make which color.

The family came up with the idea shortly after the terrible tragedies that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. It's a way for them to make sure the students at Harrison can see the the entire county and know that although there are many states, it is one united nation.

Over the years, various Harris family members have worked on the painting project.

"I think everyone has worked on it," she said with a chuckle.

Each time the family has to repaint the map, they learn new tips that they try to remember for the next time.

"It's funny because we feel like we're getting better at it," she said.

This year, the family started painting the southern states first and then worked their way toward the northern states. This way the southern states' paint would dry while they painted the northern states.

Harris said they didn't have to wait around for the paint to dry following this method. Before the family can add the white paint to separate the states, the other paint must be dry.

Harris wanted to thank the Harrison PTO for buying the painting supplies for them this year and she also have to thank the employees who power sprayed the old paint off of the map for them.

One of Harris' favorite part of the whole project is how the children respond to it. Not only does it beautify the playground, but it can be used as an educational tool.

Plus, it's in one of Harris' favorite parts of the school -- the playground.

"I love hearing the children playing at recess," Harris said.


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