Early learning and art:  A colorful combination

Colorado School reopened last August as the new Muskie Early Learning Center as Muscatine’s first, dedicated preschool building; it’s already getting a fresh coat of paint.

The new paint is a mural in the hallway leading out to the school’s playground.

“School leaders and especially the kids already know that colors make them feel good,” said Muscatine artist Chris Anderson.  “So, I’m using the same colors and values the school already has in the hallways in my mural.”

School principal Jessi Freers said it’s important for them to make the school as colorful as possible for the little ones.  Paint, art and color throughout the building is what helps set the school apart making it a special place for preschoolers.

“Acceptance,” says Freers.  “That’s what the center is about. We work to integrate students with all different abilities.

Anderson’s mural at the school is a sponsored by the Muscatine Rotary Club which will celebrate its 100th year in February.  Rotarians world-wide

Colorado School kids Caleb Greer, Jenson Griffin and Jazzalynn Jinez look on as Muscatine Artist Chris Anderson adds detail to the mural he is painting at the Muskie Early Learning Center.

employ “The Four-Way Test” as a moral code for personal and business relationships. Rotary’s Four-Way Test: 1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all concerned? 3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships? 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

“Chris did an awesome job of bringing it down to the kids’ level,” said Freers of how Anderson incorporated “The Four-Way Test” into his mural.

According to Anderson, the Muscatine Rotary Club plans to do an unveiling of the mural to the public as part of its 100-Year Celebration in 2020.

The Muskie Early Learning Center, located at 149 Colorado Street in Muscatine, serves preschool children ages three and four and hosts the district’s Parents as Teachers Program, a home visitation program for children birth-age five. Early Childhood Iowa’s office is also located in the building.

Registration for next semester sessions will be open online and at the Muskie Early Learning Center on Jan. 13 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. To register or find additional information, visit the school district’s website at muscatine.k12.ia.us