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Britton Park teams with Swanson Elementary to create neighborhood flag

The flag was raised in the neighborhood park May 10

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The Britton Park neighborhood is located in Arvada’s east side. It’s home to Swanson Elementary School and a newly formed neighborhood organization, Britton Park Neighbors.

But, it was missing a symbol — something that artistically represented the neighborhood.

Now, thanks to a partnership with the local elementary school, Briton Park has its very own flag.

“We wanted our neighborhood children to have a “leg up” with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful and strong contributors to our society, country, and economy,” said neighborhood leader Fred Schmidt.

For Michelle Rodenburg, fifth and sixth grade teacher at Swanson, this was an opportunity for her students to engage in real world problem solving through a project-based learning initiative.

“We like for our students to be connected to the community,” Rodenburg said. “As fifth-graders, they learn about their community in community economics and as sixth-graders, they learn global citizenship. It’s just teaching the kids to be citizens of their own community.”

Creating a flag for the neighborhood was the perfect opportunity for the 91 fifth- and sixth-grade students at Swanson to learn about citizenship and the community they live in.

The project included social studies — learning the history of Arvada and the Britton Park area — as well as writing, researching, reading, art and design, and computer graphics.

Students worked in teams to create a concept for what would become the new neighborhood flag and be flown in the park that opened October of 2015.

Representatives from Arvada, the Britton Park neighborhood and the school judged the projects and chose the winning design created by Kaitlyn Lehnerz, Olivia Kubowicz, Noah Gross, Liam Hinz and Brannan Spence.

“The hardest part was to find precise information,” Himz said about the research process. “But it was really fun because we got to come together collaborate and make jokes.”

A few things the students learned included how to work as a team, the history of the neighborhood and the representation of symbols and color in design elements.

The winning flag, which was raised in a school-wide ceremony May 10, is the color green, representing the nature around Britton Park. There is a yellow sun to symbolize the sun shinning over the neighborhood and a red tractor pays tribute to an old farm in the area. The park itself also has a farm theme.

“When you see this flag flying over the park we hope you think of all the hard work that you’ve put in to creating this flag,” Rodenburg told students at the flag raising ceremony. “We also hope that you share the love that we feel for this community.”

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