Portraits of Character - By Eileen

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.  

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Portraits of Character on display at the Madison Park Starbucks September 8 - 25

As this school year began, we thought it important to consider the character traits and virtues that each of us brings to the community.  Students were asked to reflect on one particular virtue they felt they brought to the school and why it was important. They were asked if their virtue were a color, what color would it be?  Each of these portraits, done in monochrome, seeks to embody a particular virtue that helps to create a positive learning environment and a supportive community for everyone. The accompanying poetry further articulates each person’s thinking.

Throughout each school year children use a variety of art materials to express their own thoughts about a particular subject.  Rather than instructing children in formal art lessons, art materials such as tempera paint, oil pastels and watercolors are carefully prepared to engage them and to welcome them to playfully investigate and explore the possibilities of each medium.  At times children are prompted with an open-ended question or provocation before they begin drawing, sculpting or painting. The children are honored to have their thoughtful work shared throughout the community. I hope you take the time to scroll through the paintings and read the students' writing.

I am forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the color black.

A swan swimming in the dark of night.

Black is a dark velvet dress.

Forgiveness is apologizing when you hurt a friend.

Night is black and day is white.

Black is the sound of stars at night.

Black in the color of a licorice jelly bean.

Forgiveness if the color of a moonlit night.


I am perseverance.

My color is purple.

Purple is the color of two,

A mix of red and blue.

Purple is a cloud at sunset.

A stroke of a pencil.

A small flower petal or a baby bird.

Purple is the last color of the rainbow.

Perseverance is the sound of the ocean in motion.

A fast movement that goes on and on.

Perseverance looks like a strong breeze

That never gives up and keeps rolling on.

A small tree that grows and grows

Until it’s wide and tall.


Red is the stop sign on the corner.

Helpful is the hand sanitizer in your hands.

Red is bricks on a building.

Helpful is toothpaste in your mouth.

Red is ribbon in a bow.

Helpful is doctors fixing bones.

Red is apples on a tree.

Helpful is water filled with fish.


Honesty is the color purple.

Purple is the color of positive energy

that looks like people smiling.

Honesty is a shining light in a Broadway theater

While a show is going on.

Purple is the color of lavender

Like a flower in my garden.

Honesty smells like blooming flowers in spring.

Purple is the color of shimmering stars in a dark blue sky.

Honesty feels like a warm summer

After a dip in a cold pool.


I am flexibility.

Fuscia is the color of a pink salmon’s scales

As it swims through the stream.

Fuscia is the color of a thriving coral reef.

Flexibility is learning from your mistakes

And keeping an open mind.


Creativity is orange.

Orange is a light that breaks through problems.

It is a beacon of hope through the bars that you hold.

It lights the pathway you want to take.

Creativity opens millions of possibilities

Just waiting to be used.

Creativity is what gets through problems or dead ends.


I am helpfulness.

Helpfulness is gold.

Gold is a shining light.

Helpfulness is a torch in a black abyss.

Gold is the color of feelings deep.

Helpfulness is a light that guides you.


I am kindness.

Kindness is helping.

Kindness is friendship or a bird singing.

Kindness is giving.

Kindness is gold.

Kindness will help you;

Young, old, or a heart made of gold.

Gold is kindness.

Gold is valuable.

Gold is someone who feels the best.

Gold is helping and a crest.