With a $1000 grant from Berkeley Public Schools Fund and numerous other community sponsors, Malcolm X Elementary School collaborated in carrying out “Safe & Sound: The Malcolm X Mosaic Sign Project.” The project was initiated by young artists from Youth Spirit Artworks (YSA), partnering with South Berkeley Neighbors Association, Adeline Street Merchants Association, South Berkeley Senior Center and Life Long Medical Care. This delightful health and safety education effort was a response by youth from South & West Berkeley involved in Youth Spirit Artworks to the 2009 accident in which five year old student was hit and injured by a truck while crossing Ashby (Hwy 13) in front of the school. Youth Spirit leaders wanted to do something to increase safety on busy Ashby Avenue. “Safe and Sound” involved over 400 children and youth from the community in making pledges “to do one special thing to care more deeply for their health this year,” and then writing their pledges on refrigerator magnets, or pledge cards. Participants also then created handmade tiles to be included in the mosaic signs.
Senior Artist Rachel Rodi led the project along with more than 20 Youth Spirit artist leaders who collaborated with families from the school community to craft the tiled signs. Malcolm X and Youth Spirit are grateful to the many school and community volunteers who helped make the project possible, and is especially grateful to the Berkeley Public Schools Fund for its support!