The Community Studies class in front of their new mural. Left side of the photo: Front: Hallee Lambert, Emelia Norred, Bradley Rushton, Maurice Cameron, Madison Nash, and Mallary Nash. Back: Ben Diamond, Seth Arnett, EJ Ellis, Cody Wisener, and Tuzdai Smith.

Handley High School history teachers Merredith Sears, Cadie Tipton and Chris Glass have begun a new project with their Community Studies class.

Recently the class added a new mural to the wall beside The Law Firm of Kesa M. Johnston and next to the #Believe mural that was created by the 2021 HHS ethics class. The class theme this year is "Live Where You Love and Love Where You Live."

The class started the mural by spray painting hundreds of hearts on the white wall. The group was hesitant to paint the hearts, but after practicing a few times on a tarp, "There was no stopping them," according to Sears. Students in the class shared what they learned while working on the mural. Senior Chadie Farr admitted she learned to actually paint a heart while working on this project. Junior Emilia Norred realized it takes patience to paint that many hearts while other students, including junior Jay Haynes and senior Madison Nash explained that they learned teamwork skills.

The motto "Live Where You Love and Love Where You Live" proved to have different meanings among the students. Junior Antaniya Staples expounded on what the motto means to her. "[It means to] Cherish where you live to be proud to call it your home," Staples says. "To me it means that I should appreciate and love where I live and take more time to see the beauty in my own town," senior Camden Sledge comments.

For the past years Sears has lived out the "Live Where You Love and Lover Where You Live" motto. Sears has been active working to preserve the history of Randolph County over the years and has put in many hours alongside others working on the Randolph County Historical Museum. Sears is now encouraging and influencing her students to take pride in where they live. Junior Anna Rae Broome proves to be one of Sears' students who understand this motto. Broome says the mural's message to the public is, "... No matter where you are, always find something to love about it." Broome feels people should accept Roanoke for what it is and learn to love everything and everyone in it.

The Community Studies class will continue to improve the community while gaining a better understanding of the history of Randolph County.

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