Friday, October 24, 2008

Central School “Dungeon” Receives Make-Over

When it comes to supporting her third grade son’s education, Robin Pastor is getting creative. The week before school began this year, Pastor completed a comprehensive mural that adorns the walls of the South Berwick Central School cafeteria. “I wanted to make the cafeteria an enjoyable place for the kids to eat in,” she explained. “They should be able to come in here and have a cheerful place to have their lunch.”
The hot air balloon-themed mural covers almost every part of the long cafeteria walls, and it took Pastor a solid week in August to complete. “It was supposed to be a joint project, but it ended up just being me. My husband Peter helped twice. And it included at least a couple long 11-hour days.”
The reactions by members of the school community have been positive. “The kids sent me letters. One little girl said: ‘It’s just so beautiful!’ and just to hear that was so priceless! To hear them say how much they love it and enjoy it just made the whole thing worth it.”
This is not the first time Pastor has made South Berwick Central School a more colorful place to be. During the summer of 2007, she painted a mural inside the school library. Her first mural, depicting children enjoying some outdoor summer reading, stretches from the library floor all the way up and onto the ceiling tiles.
Pastor has been recognized for her valuable artistic contributions to the school not only by the students and teachers, but also in a letter from her local state legislator Bonnie Gould. “This is addressed to me?” was Pastor’s initial reaction. “It turned out her kids went to school here ‘when it was a dungeon’. Then she thanked me for doing the mural, and that was so cool – It meant a lot.”
The school is hoping Pastor has at least one more project left in her. “I was approached for a large one that I’m not sure about – they’re looking for an athletic-type mural to go over some large windows that are now covered over in the gym.”
Pastor is a graphic design artist by trade, but is currently enrolled in courses to become a medical assistant. Why not paint full time? “I’m not sure how much demand there would be in this economy. But I love to do it, so I volunteer.”
Caption: The Central School cafeteria, or “the dungeon” as Bonnie Gould recalls from her childhood, was recently brightened by Robin Pastor’s handiwork. (Weekly Sentinel photo)