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Licking Heights Local School District News Article

South Elementary Students Create Cultural Mural with CRIS

Third-grade students at Licking Heights are using art as a tool of inclusion, right in their own community.

Broad Peak (South) Elementary art students collaborated with Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS) to create a mural by the front office of different world flags, many of which are the flags of home countries for different students and their families. The project was led by students in Monica Jordan’s classroom, with guidance and support from art teacher Mandy Rubino. CRIS’s Associate Director of Community Partnerships, Jeremy Hollon, was the main collaborator with students.

Rubino says Jordan’s class came up with the idea to use flags for the mural design, and students had very strong cultural identities of their own that they wanted to incorporate into the process. She created lesson plans about public art and murals to prepare students for creation.

After the students created a design plan, Hollon and a team of CRIS volunteers stepped in to help with sketching and painting during and after school hours. Jordan’s class painted flags alongside Hollon during their art classes.

“I had never done a mural before, and I wasn’t sure what that process would be like,” Rubino says. “It was the most amazing experience. Jeremy and his volunteers made it really easy for us. The kids feel so much pride now when they walk by the mural and point at their flags. It’s a great learning tool, too.”

CRIS is a frequent collaborator with the district, providing both essential social services to students and families and as a creative partner for additional mural projects. In 2022, CRIS worked with art teacher Rachel Fout and Heights families to create a mural at North Elementary reading “Welcome” in different languages spoken throughout the district.

“Community partnerships, like what we have with CRIS, make families feel valued, welcomed and important,” Rubino says. “We can represent so many families, cultures, and traditions with projects like these.  No matter what language you speak, art expresses feelings and ideas that are universally understood. We are one big family out here at Licking Heights.”

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Licking Heights Local School District

6539 Summit Road Pataskala, OH 43062
P: 740-927-6926 | F: 740-927-9043


Licking Heights High School (9-12)

4101 Summit Road Pataskala, OH 43062
P: 740-964-9005 | F: 740-927-0508


Licking Heights Middle School (7-8)

4000 Mink Street Pataskala, OH 43062
P: 740-927-9046 | F: 740-927-3197

Central Intermediate (5-6)

6565 Summit Road Pataskala, OH 43062
P: 740-927-3365 | F: 740-927-5845


South Elementary (1-4)

6623 Summit Road Pataskala, OH 43062
P: 740-964-1674 | F: 740-964-1625


West Elementary (1-4)

1490 Climbing Fig Blacklick, OH 43004
P: 614-864-9089 | F: 614-501-4672

North Elementary (K)

6507 Summit Road Pataskala, OH 43062
P: 740-927-3268 | F: 740-927-5736


Central Preschool

6565 Summit Road Pataskala, OH 43062
P: (740) 927-3268


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