Encounter Church Members Donate Time & Talent to School Mural
A small group of artistically-inclined members from Encounter Church have been working steadily on a project that most of the public won't see.
It has been taking place in an outdoor classroom area behind Heber Hunt School, (7th and Warren) and involves artwork being painted on a south wall, adjacent to the playground.
Kayla Sanchez, the accountant for Encounter Church, said she and the other project volunteers simply want to give back to the community by painting a colorful, four-panel mural for the students.
Sanchez said she sent out an “all-call” to church members, requesting anyone with artistic talent to volunteer their time & talents to the project, “ and we got all these great people out here to help.”
Work on the project began several weeks ago, with a short couple of breaks taken during a wet and foggy period, and also during a very hot & humid period, Sanchez noted.
The outdoor classroom is an area where teachers come out with students and get some fresh air and teach lessons occasionally.
“That's why there's a chalkboard, so that's where teachers can write on that and use it as part of their lesson,” Sanchez said on Thursday. “There's going to be a letter strip on top so the kids can reference that, and learn about colors on the bottom (where colored pencils appear).”
Some of the volunteers have kids attending Heber Hunt Elementary, and some are former students themselves.
Sanchez estimated that the project should be completed by next weekend at the latest.
Encounter Church Paster Chris Gray was also on the scene at Heber Hunt Thursday morning. He noted that Encounter's Sedalia location has about 350 members, and the Warrensburg location has around 100. A third location will be announced next spring, Pastor Gray said.
Encounter Church began in 2004 in the basement of a house, and grew from there, meeting at a local hotel conference room for a while, then a building was constructed in 2005, with many renovations since then.
Pastor Gray noted that he does not possess the kind of artistic skills that other volunteers have, but his wife does and was on the scene working on a giant butterfly at the time.
“I just came by to check things out and see how they're doing. They don't want me to draw, that is not my skill set whatsoever,” Pastor Gray admitted.
“They're doing a great job, I'm really proud of this team. They have taken this project on. We've been partnering with Heber Hunt for several years now, we come in during the school year, we have people who mentor students, we bring supplies over to them at least once a quarter. We partner with a ministry out of Springfield and bring (school) supplies into Heber Hunt. We just really have a heart for this school, so we do everything we can to really invest in them and help them to know that there is somebody outside of their walls who cares about them and loves them and wants to help them to succeed in what they're doing,” Pastor Gray stated.
Heber Hunt Elementary, 600 South Warren, part of Sedalia School District 200, teaches 416 K-4 students and has a teacher-to-student ratio of 12-1, according to Niche.com.