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Fifth-graders unveil Tree of Character mosaic

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Representatives of the Broadalbin-Perth Class of 2024 unveiled the masterpiece they have worked on all school year during a special reception, Wednesday, June 14, in the middle school gymnasium. The students proudly presented “Tree of Character,” a wall-sized mosaic they created with the help of local artist Linda Biggers.

The mosaic, which is made of cut-glass tile, depicts the six pillars of character – respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring and citizenship – in 2-foot-by-2-foot squares that make up the larger image of the mosaic. Biggers designed the mosaic based on ideas solicited from BPIS students.

During the unveiling ceremony, fifth-graders read descriptions of each of the character traits and how they are presented in the mosaic:

  • “Fairness” is depicted as several people of different heights trying to reach the apples on the tree. Two of the people aren’t able to reach the apples and, in order to make it fair, they are standing on rocks so they can reach the fruit, too.
  • “Trustworthiness” is depicted as a tree branch in the shape of an arm with a butterfly landing on the hand.
  • “Caring” is depicted as two birds caring for a baby bird.
  • “Responsibility” is depicted as two hands holding the Earth.
  • “Citizenship” is depicted as people from around the world joining hands around the trunk of the tree, representing how everyone is connected.
  • “Respect” is depicted as two branches of the tree bowing and shaking hands with each other.

Additional members of the class accepted a plaque from BPIS Principal Daniel Casey that will hang next to the mosaic. The plaque reads, in part, “This mosaic was created by the Class of 2024 (fifth grade) with guidance from mosaic artist Linda Biggers. Saratoga Arts made this program possible with an Arts Education Grant funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.”

“They have created something that will remain here long after they are gone,” Casey said. “It is a legacy of which they can be proud as it is sure to inspire and amaze everyone who encounters it.”

In addition to a $3,000 grant from Saratoga Arts, the project was also funded by the B-P Education Foundation and PTO. The mosaic frame was donated by Broadalbin Manufacturing (Mike and Karen Deuel) and A.J. Hoyt.

The mosaic will be displayed in the intermediate school. At the conclusion of capital project renovations, it will be permanently mounted in the renovated B-P Elementary School at the district’s Perth campus.