Marysville students create community art
By KIRK BOXLEITNER
Marysville Globe Reporter
December 28, 2011 · 10:38 AM
MARYSVILLE — First-grade students of the Marysville Cooperative Education Program at Marshall Elementary can call themselves community artists, ever since the recent unveiling of a community-themed art project at the Community Transit bus shelter on 64th Street NE, in front of the Marysville YMCA.
The brightly colored handprint design is a visual representation of Community Transit’s 26-year old School Transit Education Program, through which the bus agency partners with local schools to educate children about pedestrian safety and how to ride the bus.
“Kids love to create art, and they love to get messy,” STEP Coordinator Steve Peters said. “If we can combine the two, we’ve got a winning program.”
Peters travels to more than 125 schools throughout Snohomish County every year, talking to about 10,000 students about traffic congestion, air pollution and public transportation using voices, silly faces and a go-cart sized bus to keep the kids engaged. The highlight of the program is an actual ride on a Community Transit bus.
The idea to enhance STEP with an art shelter program was a way to beautify the community and give the kids a lasting sense of accomplishment.
Community-based art has been known to create pride in public spaces and reduce graffiti. Although the Marshall Elementary shelter is the first STEP art shelter, Community Transit envisions more to come. Sue Masel, a designer and member of the agency’s customer relations department, will help coordinate the art component of the program.
“It’s a natural evolution for this program,” Peters said. “STEP already has established relationships with dozens of schools and teachers throughout the county. I see myself first talking to classrooms about the benefits of public transportation, then getting them to paint shelters in their communities. That makes for a great day.”
Community Transit is responsible for providing transportation options for Snohomish County residents, including bus and para-transit service, vanpool and ride-sharing options. Call Community Transit at 425-353-7433 or 800-562-1375 for bus information, or 888-814-1300 for carpool or vanpool information, or go to www.communitytransit.org. You can also read their blog at http://communitytransit.blogspot.com, visit their Facebook page or see them on YouTube.
To find out how you can support local businesses and Community Transit when you “Buy Local for Transit,” log onto www.communitytransit.org/buylocal.
Contact Marysville Globe Reporter Kirk Boxleitner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-659-1300 Ext. 5052.