Erath, La. (KLFY) Eighth grade students at Erath Middle School are helping to beautify the town with 23 painted fire hydrants throughout the area for an art project.
The project was an idea of Jennifer Gayneaux, a teacher at the school.
“I hope it puts them in a better mood because, I mean, if you’re having a bad day, see something from maybe your childhood or just everyday things, something that reminds you of something good. It would put a smile on your face,” Preston Bourgeois said.
News 10 spoke with some of the eighth-graders and learned the inspiration behind each hydrant.
Ali Bouillion’s hydrant is located near a day care center and is characterized by Thomas the Train, a kid’s show.
“When kids get in their parent’s car after a long day at daycare, they will see Thomas the Train, and it will instantly put a smile on their face and maybe help the parents because their kid might be in a grumpy mood and the hydrant might make them smile,” Bouillion said.
Preston Bourgeois’s hydrant is located next to a pharmacy in Erath and is inspired by two over-the-counter medicines, DayQuil and NyQuil.
Madeline Zegura’s hydrant is located by a church across the street from Erath Middle School and symbolizes the Catholic faith.
“It’s just a really beautiful design to go right in front of the church to make people happy once they walk by on the way to church,” Zegura said.
Cy-David LeBlanc’s hydrant is next to the Jr. Food market and has an Elmo theme.
“I wanted to put a smile on people’s faces like the little children who pass by it. They all like Elmo.”
Hattie Barras and Anabelle Roy worked together on a fire hydrant to remember one of their very own Bobcat Ross Granger.
“He was a very inspiring person, and he was very important to the community of Erath, and we wanted to dedicate our hydrant to him in memory because of his passing at such a young age,” said Anabelle Roy.
They designed the hydrant with the school colors and his jersey number for baseball and football.
“I see the excitement as you drive by different people, taking pictures and seeing them work, and so just their excitement realized that they’re contributing something to the community was a wonderful thing.”
The students learned a lot about themselves.
“The experience was a little messy, but overall I figured out some skills like pros and cons of using the paint, and I shocked myself with how well I could actually paint,” Bouillion said.
“The little intricate designs. Those are really hard because it’s kind of a rough surface. Like cracks and stuff, so getting the pencil and the paint to sketch out the little designs was difficult, but I think we did pretty well,” said Bourgeois.
“I love just sitting down and actually painting the hydrant, knowing the skills you can do, and just spending time with friends and your community members around you,” said Roy.
“It was just different. I never did something like this before, and it’s just amazing,” said Hattie Barras.
“I think it’s something that these kids didn’t realize they were capable of,” said Gayneaux. “Contributing something to the community in this way, I think it gives and inspires other people to let them know that they can also do something for their community that has meaning and has an effect on others.”