San Altos Elementary // Lemon Grove
Mural Artist: Isabel Halpern
San Altos is a school of transformation, growth, acceptance, and kindness. Led by Isabel Halpern, this mural serves to welcome all to a special space. Over forty 6th grade students from the class of 2021 contributed their time, care, and focus on painting this mural.
The mural features coyote pride with the mascot front and center, but there is a lot more to be found in this work. The importance of our natural world can be seen with different California landscapes: wetlands, deserts, mountains, and oceans. Lemons are a tribute to Lemon Grove and the great California state flower of the poppy is sprinkled throughout. The mural also highlights transformation with the life cycle of the butterfly. How many caterpillars can you find on the wall?
San Altos staff, during a staff-wide design input meeting, wanted to emphasize a big focus on literacy and reading through book imagery. Reading can help you soar, it can help you fly. But most importantly, there was a need for showing inclusion, kindness, and acceptance. Puzzle pieces, representing the symbol of students with special needs are represented in the mural while a small butterfly rests on the nose of the coyote. This is a school where coyotes and butterflies can be and are friends. Where all students are accepted and an important piece of the puzzle that completes and makes San Altos the special school that it is.