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Elementary school bathroom art meant to inspire positivity

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TJ Watson bathroom art

(WBNG) -- When you take a step inside TJ Watson Elementary School in the Union-Endicott School District, you can find motivational messages lining the halls.

But it doesn't stop there. Now you can find quotes of inspiration in the bathroom, too.

"We wanted to create a sense of positivity. Kindness has really been, we have a lot of character traits, but kindness has really been one that we focus on. And we thought that by painting the bathroom, it would really lift the kids' spirits," said fifth grade teacher Emily Rebello.

The stalls and the walls say things like, "she said she could, so she did," and "winning doesn't always mean being in first." All quotes voted on by fourth and fifth grade students.

"If it's the quotes they picked, it would make them feel better and if they were the ones that picked the quote, then obviously it's something that tugs at their heart or there's a purpose for that," said Rebello.

And it's turned the bathroom into a work of art.

"It kind of gives the kids ownership because we all helped paint them. We all painted one word or a couple of letters," said fifth grader Tommy Judge.

While the students admit the idea was out of the ordinary at first, the purpose has already proved to be helpful.

"Some kids, when they feel anxious or nervous, they go to the bathroom, and then when those quotes are there, it's just that they're there so they feel better," said fourth grader Calyn Wells.

"And it doesn't seem like the bathroom is the best spot, but if you think about it too, it just gives you a minute to be by yourself, be alone, and regroup, then be able to push through or just have a smile," said Rebello.

"It's just nice to have something there when you go in so you can see it and be happy," said fifth grader Gabby Fledderman.

Faculty at the school say they hope to spread this idea to other bathrooms in the building, and even throughout the district.

Annie Flaherty

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