DALLAS TWP. — You know how it goes. You start out with a brush, you really mean to avoid a mess, but sometimes the paint defies the intent and you’ve got no choice but to start swiping with your hand.
“We had to do this,” 9-year-old Atlanta Harris said Monday in defiant defense while holding up her right hand, smothered in yellow paint. “There were too many empty spaces for the brush.”
Fortunately, the group of Misericordia University staff and volunteers had thought to include gloves in their array of art tools, so the paint was staining latex, not skin.
Harris, of Wilkes-Barre, was one of 58 students from the Boulevard Townhomes’ McGlynn Learning Center who came to campus Monday for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event hosted by the campus ministry, several campus clubs and about 20 student volunteers.
The youngsters rotated amid different stations, where they could alternately paint a large poster of Martin Luther King’s head and shoulders, circle words in a word puzzle, craft multicultural mini-figures out of pre-cut foam or fill in a crossword puzzle.”
“The first person who finishes the crossword gets a special prize,” Misericordia occupational therapist major Logan Zeitler told the kids, spurring instant anxiety in Aminah Day.
“I can’t do this!” Aminah, 8, protested. Asked why, she conceded there was no point of trying because “I can’t win!”
With a little adult help, Aminah came in a close second to George Caraballo, 11, of Wilkes-Barre, but George admitted he had an advantage. “I knew the answers. We already did this in school.”
What was his prize? “You get a high five from me!” Zeitler grinned, holding up his hand as George slapped it.
“Really?” Aminah scowled. “The prize is just a high five?”
Campus Ministry Director Chris Somers said the event, which included a presentation by a mime group and lunch for the children, was funded by the various participating university departments.
And the painting of King, now surely slathered with paint almost as thick as the poster board itself?
“We’ll hand it in the lobby of the Banks Student Center,” Somers said.
Be sure to use a strong hook.