By: Sharon Aron Baron
Coral Springs Charter School is now part of the Broward 100 “Inside Out” project, where portraits of students and teachers are displayed at the school in celebration of Broward County’s centennial.
Last spring, Broward 100 Events Coordinator Dawn Robinson spoke about the Inside Out project to all the Broward County Peer Counselors. One of the attendees, Coral Springs Springs Charter School teacher Katie Brann brought the idea to her peer counseling classes who were extremely interested. She then registered the school so they could participate this year.
The Inside Out project captures a collective message through head shots of individuals, which are printed on posters, pasted on public spaces and archived online. This global platform allows people to tell their untold stories and transform messages of personal identity into works of public art. Since 2007, installations have appeared on walls, sidewalks, streets, skyscrapers and historic buildings around the globe. According to Dawn Robinson, 12 other schools have participated in the project including Ramblewood Elementary.
“It has been an amazing experience for us, and is also once in a lifetime,” said Brann.
At the beginning of the school year, the peer counseling classes created the theme “Everyone Matters” celebrating diversity, and students advertised the upcoming project on their school TV, announcements, and by creating posters.
The teachers then chose between three to five students to represent each class and have their photos taken. Each person who participated had to have a waiver signed and teachers had their classes write short essays on ‘why everyone matters’.
The photos were taken the Friday of their Homecoming – a randomly selected date by photographer, Sam Notarbartolo.
“We are typically a uniform school, so the fact that on this one day the kids were wildly dressed up, some look pretty crazy and one girl is dressed like a banana, added to the individual expression of the kids and expressed our school character and personality,” said Brann.
In total there were 124 photos taken of 83 students and 41 adults.
Brann isn’t sure how long the photos will stay up in the hallways, as they aren’t meant to be permanent.
“I don’t know exactly. I am worried that they may start to sag during our break. I am going to leave them up until they no longer look good or start to fade – or until my principal tells me to take them down.”