Chalk it up: Landis children thank town employees with sidewalk drawings

Published 12:01 am Friday, March 27, 2020

By Liz Moomey

LANDIS — On sidewalks outside of the police station, fire station, post office and town hall in Landis are chalk drawings and words of encouragement.

The chalk drawings appeared overnight to greet employees when they went to work Thursday morning. And they were the brainchild of Landis Mayor Meredith Smith and her daughters, who wanted something to do. 

Smith went to the store and picked up 20 cases of chalk for neighborhood kids to create pieces of art on the sidewalks as a way to thank those who are in the line of duty during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Smith texted every parent she could think of to invite them out. From 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., about 20 students from Landis Elementary, Corriher-Lipe Middle School and South Rowan High School drew butterflies, an American flag, smiley faces and wrote encouraging messages, such as “#ourLandisStrong” and “thank you for your service.”

Smith said the kids “gave them a little bit of sunshine this morning when they went to work.”

Students have been out for Rowan-Salisbury Schools since March 16. And Smith said kids were able to hang with their friends while practicing social distancing.

“They were so excited to show their friends what they had done,” Smith said. “I think that is something huge that they get to do in school and they’re not getting to see each other and have interactions.”

Smith said she encourages others to come into town and draw on the sidewalks.

Presley Konency, a kindergartener, and her grandmother Karen Bonzo were walking to the post office. They found some chalk and Konency drew smiley faces outside of the police station.

“I just wanted to do something fun and exciting that kids that are out walking around with their parents or grandparents or just citizen trying to get some fresh air will bring a smile to their face,” Smith said.

Smith received calls and text messages from Town Attorney Rick Locklear and town hall employees Thursday telling her it was nice to go into work and see the chalk drawings.

“It’s an exciting time even during sad time that people are doing it together to make a work of art,” she said.

Landis Police captain Jon Jessop was at the station last night but kept the surprise from the day shift officers. He said it was nice to see the kids come out to draw and he’s heard a positive response from the other officers.