TAMPA, Fla. — Stained glass isn't only found in churches, there’s a Hillsborough County elementary school that’s installing its own version in dozens of windows.
More than 400 students, grades K-5, at Muller Elementary Magnet School are working together on one very large, very bright and very ambitious art project.
“They love it, they came outside, they were so excited the first day they saw the first two windows painted, and every time we add one they were like, ‘oh, that one’s lighter, that one’s darker,’ and they’re just really getting into the study of it,” said art teacher Gena Ezzi.
Ezzi said she wants her students to learn more than just how to be creative. Over the Christmas break the school suffered some vandalism.
“So some of the students were very, very upset,” said Ezzi. “And they were like, ‘it’s ok Mrs. Ezzi, we can always fix it, we’re going to make our campus beautiful, we’re happy to be here,’ so it’s really great for them to be able to have a sense of pride and responsibility with their art.”
Students said it’s nice to look out the window and know they did their part.
"It’s really, really important because the younger kids they really look up to us, look up to the things that we do, so as we keep doing this stuff it's going to encourage them and make them do more things like this to help improve our school,” said fifth-grader Ariana Crawford.
No window is quite the same, Ezzi provides the materials, while these boys and girls provide the inspiration.
“They want to do primary windows, they want to do secondary colored windows, warm and cool, and then the older kids want to draw actual pictures with the stained glass, they talked about making flowers,” said Ezzi.
The students are also learning another important lesson, meeting deadlines. They’ve already complete half of the 26 windows overlooking the courtyard. They are on schedule to be finished by the end of the school year.