Classmates color up lunch

Three students from Choices Alternative School painted picnic tables with cartoon animals and words of inspiration, and the tables have been presented to the Summer Food Program at Sunrise Park.

Steven Martinez, a junior at Choices, said he was most proud of the monkey he had painted on one of the seats.

CNJ staff photo: Kevin Baird

Steven Martinez, left, and Max Galvan tighten the seats on the a picnic table that they painted for kids in the Summer Food Program in Clovis. Galvan said it took them about six weeks to finish the project.

"I just thought it was cute," he said. "It warms my heart because they didn't have anything at that park, and now they have these tables, the prettiest tables I think."

Max Galvan, also a junior, said it took six weeks to complete the artwork on the tables. Sophomore Julian Lopez also helped paint the tables.

Johnny Chavez, director of the Summer Food Program in Clovis, said the two tables will be used by kids participating in the Summer Food Program, which is a federally-funded program that provides healthy lunches for kids. Chavez said the meals are delivered to 21 locations in Clovis from June 3 to August 2.

Martinez, Galvan, and Lopez were in an art class together, and they were assigned the project. Martinez and Galvan said they didn't have much experience painting before taking the class.

Martinez said he has painted a lot of pictures of goats and it helped prepare him for this project. Galvan said religion is an inspiration to him, and he incorporates a lot of angels and crosses into his drawings in his spare time. His favorite graphic on the picnic tables is a bear with angel wings and a halo.

Martinez, who also likes to record hip-hop music in his spare time, said the phrases that are painted on the picnic tables such as, "Don't be ashamed of who you are. Because people who aren't true don't get very far," come straight from the heart.

"I'm really proud of them," said Adan Estrada, principle at Choices. "We gave them a job, and they stuck with it until it was finished."

Chavez said he bought the tables at an auction at Cannon Air Force Base. The tables will be placed inside a structure that was funded by donations from local businesses and contractors. He said the structure still needs siding and paint.

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