LEE COUNTY, Fla.- It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do, just ask the folks at Manatee Elementary School!
The walls and halls, which were once blank and bare, are now decorated with all kinds of uplifting images.
The students absolutely love them, but it’s how this transformation happened, that’s the real story.
It was a normal day on the playground Monday, but inside the school had a whole new look.
Beaches, birds, beautiful sunsets, all kinds of magical murals now grace the walls that were once much different.
“They were white on top, and dark green on the bottom,” said Sharon Stultz, “it looked like a prison more than a school!”
Stultz is a part-time Fort Myers resident who led a team of faithful friends in repainting and re-energizing the entire school.
“Anything is better with some paint on it,” said Stultz.
Stultz and her generous friends donated their own money, paint and time to transform the walls.
“It was addictive because everybody is so appreciative.”
It took two years and hundreds of hours, but Stulz says she did it all for the kids.
“I feel they really need it, some children this is probably the only thing that’s bright in their lives,” said Stultz. “I feel God gave me this talent for a reason, and I hope I’m using it for that reason, to inspire children.”
Of course, painting takes a steady hand. Stultz has advanced Parkinson’s with tremors, something the stroke of a brush, miraculously cures.
“When I do that, it takes my mind off of it, I really don’t know why, doctors don’t know why, but I don’t shake,” said Stultz. “You go into a different world.”
She took children into that world as well. Kids at Manatee Elementary played a big role in making the murals.
“Knowing that they’ve done something wonderful, something beautiful, they can come back years from now and say I helped paint that,” said principal Michele Robinson.
“It was worth it all, it was a lot of time, lot of hard work, but it was worth it,” said Stultz.