Coloring wall inspires creativity in students


A coloring wall outside of Room 557 has offered stressed out students a moment to relax. Photos by Huy Huynh.

Ogonna Nnodimele, News Editor

This previously ran in our April 2022 print issue. 

On March 1, a bulletin board with coloring pages appeared outside Room 557. Ever since, students have been coloring the wall, exposing different styles and personalities among the student body. 

English teacher Christina Simpkins created the wall to let students unwind from the stress and monotony of school. To her, kids deserve multiple opportunities to relax. 

“I’m trying to make school a little bit fun again,” Simpkins said. “I think we’ve gotten stuck not looking forward to anything.” 

Between classes or during work time, students get a chance to escape the stressful environment of school by simply drawing with colored pencils, a constructive activity they can enjoy. 

Simpkins first received the inspiration for the wall with her own children.

“My daughter and I color all the time,” she said. “I forgot how relaxing it was.” 

Students feel the positive impact the wall has made on their academic life. 

Sophomore James Chen believes coloring provides a new way to explore calming activities, and even gives him a sense of satisfaction as it all comes together. 

“I think like something about coloring really makes me destress,” he said. “Seeing [the wall] almost complete is kind of satisfying.” 

Chen also feels the wall has been able to connect their classmates in an unforeseen way. 

“People in my classroom, they really enjoy coloring,” Chen said. “You see other people color so you really want to color.” 

Simpkins would like to see additional projects around the school that resemble the coloring wall and open an avenue to new types of interaction between students. These would yield a similar outcome in student life and enjoyment outside the classroom. 

More than anything, the coloring wall brings people from all over the school together. Simpkins hopes these new connections will yield a long-lasting effect. 

“When I first put it up, I thought it would just be my own students,” she said. “It’s definitely something that has been unifying — something the whole community could do.”