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The Fourth Year 2009 - 2010
Murals for the Visiting Rooms


Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge



The idea for the murals, began last summer with "I Am" poems from fourth grade students at Dag Hammarskjold, School #6 http://www.rochesterchildrenwrite.com/I_Am_Letters/Dianajha_poem.html and  http://www.rochesterchildrenwrite.com/I_Am_Letters/I_am_Deja.html. Dale Davis shared the poems with students / inmates at Monroe County Jail and incorporated the poems into the play, "I Stand Here Before You," she wrote with the students / inmates last year.


The students / inmates began to think about the way their actions effected "the hearts of the young ones," their children and their siblings. Together the students / inmates became determined to help the young children. After much discussion the idea of murals for the Visiting Rooms of Monroe County Jail and Monroe Correctional Facility to help communication between children and their parents and siblings who are incarcerated took seed.


This winter Davis presented the fourth graders' poems to students / inmates at Monroe County Jail and Monroe Correctional Facility along with statistics and research on children whose parents are incarcerated. The students / inmates put their thoughts and ideas into writing, sharing and discussing them. Communicating with the students' / inmates' parents while they were incarcerated was also discussed as something to be included in the murals.


A Visual Artist who worked with the New York State Literary Center worked with the students / inmates on how to translate their writing and ideas into visual language through working on sketches and incorporating drawing lessons on line, value, human form. The students / inmates learned about the mural making process, as they worked on basic drawing/painting techniques.


Reflections on The Murals

Our families will be able to see that we do have positive things to do while we are in jail. It made me happy, and proud knowing that I had something to do with the mural. 


Working on the mural gave me time to think about life and what I want to do in life.


This allowed us to express the thoughts we can't find the words or how to say when our families visit.


It was cool to see a lot of us with different backgrounds work together.


Working together with everyone on the mural was soul searching.


I learned I could have an open mind and opinions about what is going on around me. 


I earned I could do something I believed in if I put my mind to it. 


 I learned mostly  about myself through working on the mural, my ability to adapt to new things, like working with paint. I've never worked with paint before.