Oakwood 7th-grader gives back through blacktop painting

Local News

OAKWOOD, Ohio(WDTN)- The start of the school year is just around the corner and at Edwin Smith Elementary School, students will come back to a massive painting of a map on their blacktop.

The colorful map is the brain child of soon-to-be seventh grader Laila Blumer. 

“It’s educational but it’s also fun so they could incorporate this into their lesson plans,” Blumer said.

After graduating from Smith Elementary this past spring, she wanted to give something back to a school that had done so much for her. 

“The teachers always made it fun. I love school and I don’t think I would have loved it if I went somewhere else,” she else. 

She came up with the idea of painting a map of the United States on the blacktop. Blumer said her mother told her about the map painted on the blacktop back when she was a child. Her mother went to a different school but always went to Smith to play on the blacktop.

After a series of presentations to gain approval, Blumer started looking for volunteers to help.

Local company Skinner Painting and Restoration donated the materials including the pavement paint and brushes. As a member of the community, they wanted to be part of the project. 

“It would be nice for the school and for the kids. I just showed up with some paint. Laila did all the hard work,” Lee Middleton, Vice President of Skinner Painting and Restoration said.  

A local architect stepped up to help with the logistics and planning. Brent Beck helped Blumer scale the map and come up with a stratgey for drawing and painting. Beck wanted to bring back the map the remembered as a child.

“It just shows how much people like the community and like being part of a group that cares about the schools and cares about each other. We knew it wouldn’t be a problem getting volunteer help,” Beck said.

After months of planning, Blumer hopes the project not only leaves a mark but makes students just as excited for school as she’s always been.

“I would love to come during recess one day and see kids running around on it, having fun. That would mean a lot,” Blumer said.

Open House  for the school is Thursday. Families attending that will be able to see the finished product. 

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