STANTON — Stanton students already have left their mark on the school.
A beautification project that was unveiled at Stanton High School last week in front of more than 300 students was part of a yearlong initiative.
LIFEWTR, a premium bottled water brand, unveiled an art-inspired transformation featuring vibrant artwork and murals.
Earlier this year in partnership with rapper/songwriter Macklemore, LIFEWTR set out to bring a #CanvasForChange throughout schools and communities in 2019, with the goal of reaching 10 million students.
Teachers, students and parents were encouraged to nominate a high school, with Stanton High School among the winning schools.
"There was a parent of an alumnus that nominated us," said David Cunningham, secondary principal. "It was a social media competition, and she nominated Stanton High School and we were chosen."
Cunningham said the school was notified in early August that an event of this caliber would take place.
Two of the murals are located in the main lobby of the school, one near the gym and one on the backside of the concession stand at the football field.
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The artwork throughout the high school has been in place since the school year started, so students and faculty have been treated to the murals for more than a month.
"We couldn't hide anything," Cunningham said. "(The event Thursday) was more of a 'Hey, thanks for what you did for us,' but the best part of the day is that the kids were able to meet the artists."
Local artists — including Justin Queal, Rebecca Harrison, Josh Arias and Spencer Pacheco — created vibrant murals to inspire creativity. The murals have prominent underlying themes, several of which are representative of the Stanton community.
"Any time you do a beautification project, it changes the culture," Cunningham said. "The vibrant colors you see in these murals just change the way kids think about things. It brings a renewed sense of excitement to everybody."
Research shows a creativity crisis is trending in schools — 91% of American parents agree that arts education is important to teach children to think outside the box, yet four in five people say that arts education is not being offered as much as it once was.
This school transformation project represents another step forward in this movement, as well as the brand's steadfast mission to advance creativity in impactful ways.
Stanton is the fifth market where LIFEWTR has completed beautification projects this year, with five more to go in the coming months.
"It was a great experience for the kids, our staff and the community," Cunningham said. "The interactions with the artists might change a kid's life."