Lakewood girl scores a victory for chalk art

Tacoma News TribuneJune 22, 2014 

A victory for art in Lakewood


It looks like a Lakewood girl has scored a victory for art.

When the school year ended, Sterling Norris, the Custer Elementary school student who had asked the Clover Park School Board for permission to create chalk art during recess, was still waiting for an answer.

Then on Saturday – her ninth birthday – she received a letter from Clover Park Superintendent Deborah LeBeau. Beginning this fall, LeBeau’s letter said, chalk art will be allowed with principal approval and oversight.

“I was excited,” said Sterling, who will be a fourth-grader at Custer in the fall. “I was so happy.”

She already has plans to ask Custer’s new principal for permission to chalk when school starts again.

Sterling began her quest to add some artistic pizzazz to her school grounds earlier this year. Her teachers and principal liked the idea, but the school district maintenance department raised objections, citing cleaning difficulties and the potential for attracting graffiti.

LeBeau’s letter said that after Sterling came to the school board, she talked with the maintenance staff and district principals.

“We will work with our principals when they return in August to share these new practices regarding the use of chalk on school grounds,” she wrote. “Principals will also determine the designated areas for chalk art and ensure the art is monitored for content.”

Sterling’s mom, Deidre Norris, said she’s proud of her daughter for standing up for her beliefs.

“I told her, ‘You realized what happened? You changed something.’ ” 


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