The Northumberland County Sheriff’s office wasn’t a grim old Bastille before the county’s elementary school’s students created 450 brightly painted river rocks to decorate the open areas near its doors, but now it has a bright hopeful look as it is approached.
Susan Lewis, whose students at the elementary school created the rocks, said Monday that every child in the school, more than 500 of them, took part in the project.
Luck Stone in Milford, Va. Donated the rocks when it learned why Jason Dawson wanted them, his wife, Angela, who also worked with the children said.
Lewis said the youngest students colored the rocks while the first graders put patterns on them and the second graders painted emojis and similar things on the rocks. The older students came up with the slogans painted on the rocks.
The project was the idea of Marine Corps League Detachment 1062 which wanted a way to involve the youngsters in its second annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. It contacted former teacher and children’s librarian Jan Bates who, in turn contacted Lewis.
The entire project took several weeks, Lewis noted. The older students coming up with the slogans to put on the rocks took longer than the painting done by the younger students, she said.
Lewis said a paint designed for outdoor use was used. It was contributed by the Marines. The school’s brushes were used.
Lewis said the paint doesn’t require priming or sealing to be weather resistant.
Angela Dawson’s own children took part in the project. She said, “It was a fun community project…My kids actually loved it.”
The rocks were formally presented to the Sheriff’s Department at the Law Enforcement Appreciation Day by Bates and Cherie Carl, Director of the Northumberland Public Library which co-sponsored the appreciation day. Carl said the project celebrated “the service of our local law enforcement. “Bates, holding up the sign the students made to go along with the rocks announced the project’s name, “Cops Rock!”