LAKE PLACID - Banners with self-portraits of local students will hang from Main Street light poles before the start of the next school year.
School board President Mary Dietrich spoke about the "I Matter" banners to the village board on Monday, May 19. The project is a collaborative effort between the school district and Lake Placid-Wilmington Connecting Youth and Communities Coalition.
"We have for the last five years worked with the school children to create the campaign," Dietrich said. "The (school) art department always does a self-portrait phase of their curriculum. We've piggybacked on those images."
Lake Placid school board President Mary Dietrich holds a banner with a student’s self portrait. (Photo — Matthew Turner)
Dietrich asked the board if they could approve hanging the banners starting Aug. 26. They would hang for a four- to six-week period.
"If we could get those hanging by then, I think it would be really great," Trustee Jason Leon said. "I think this will help students feel they are a part of the community."
"I think it's a neat idea," Mayor Craig Randall said. "I'd be happy to approve this."
The board approved having the electric department hang the banners.
"The first year we did this, the workers were out hanging them on a not-so-nice-day," Dietrich said. "One of them took the banner out and saw the picture and said, 'That's my daughter.'"
Dietrich said there are a total of 20 banners with 40 student self-portraits, one face on each side of the banner. They will be hung in Lake Placid and Wilmington.
Tina Clark, the CYC coordinator, said the banners haven't been hung in years.
"We've hung the banners once before, maybe six years ago," Clark said. "The banners can only be up for a short period of time; the posters can be up everywhere."
Naj Wikoff coordinates with the school's art department to create the banners.
The "I Matter" Banner Youth Project has been focusing on hanging student posters in recent years. The posters were hung in places like doctors' offices and restaurants in town, but this year Clark wanted to mix it up.
"This is a kind of way to refresh and recreate and stand up again and have people notice," Clark said. "It's what it means to the parents; the message is heard."