Books and the World Come Alive on the Walls of West Hartford’s Wolcott School

Shellie Fitzpatrick adding final touches to the world mural. Courtesy photo

Recently painted murals have brought vibrancy to the walls of Wolcott Elementary School in West Hartford.

Fourth grade students Lucian (left) and Kylie (right) stand in front of the “Last Stop on Mango Street” mural next to their classroom door, holding the book of the same name. Courtesy photo


A visit to Wolcott Elementary School will seem like you are on a journey through a library and around the world.

Sherrie Fitzpatrick, a muralist who graduated from the University of Hartford Art School, has created beautiful murals throughout the school that have served as a source of joy and inspiration for staff, students, and families. Fitzpatrick has painted murals in several places within this school community.

In the hallway that houses the third through fifth grade classrooms, she painted the favorite characters from various children’s books from all members of the Wolcott staff. Characters such as Corduroy, Max from” Where the Wild Things Are,” and Arthur among others adorn the walls for all to enjoy. Of particular note is the diverse nature of the murals, with characters from “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” (by author Grace Lin), “Last Stop on Market Street” (Matt de la Peña), a large mural in the cafeteria that depicts scenes from the book, “Around Our Way on Neighbors’ Day” (Tameka Fryer Brown), and a cityscape.

‘Around Our Way on Neighbors’ Day’ mural painted in the Wolcott cafeteria. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Darci Melchor, one of the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teachers, commented on the impact of such permanent pieces throughout the school building: “New students and families always comment on the vibrancy and relevance of the murals. The different scenes inspire our ESOL students to use language in creative ways.”

Abigail (left) and Clark, second graders, look at the book “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon as they stand near the accompanying mural. Courtesy photo

Fitzpatrick recently completed a mural that extended down an entire hallway, depicting famous places around the world, including the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, and Big Ben. Adjacent to these painted destinations are children wearing traditional attire from those countries.

Students at Wolcott continue to visit the long mural and talk about the places around the world where they want to visit.

“I have enjoyed how the students at Wolcott stop and tell me how they love these murals. The murals reflect the world we live in today,” Fitzpatrick said.

A partial view of the world mural at Wolcott. Courtesy photo

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