BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Coming together in the name of art. That’s exactly how one Hampden school is gearing up for the new school year.

WJZ’s Amy Yensi has more.

It takes a village to make the painting. The canvas is a cafeteria wall and students, staff and volunteers are leaving their mark on Hampden Elementary Middle School

“This young man is coming to school for the first time this year and this is where he’ll be eating lunch. So he’ll be able to see that he was an artist for a day,” said Marcella Franczkowski, Maryland State Department of Education.

The back to school celebration and mural are part of Governor Hogan’s Maryland Unites program. The day of service initiative is an opportunity for state employees to volunteer.

“All these people who don’t usually paint are getting to participate and we end up having this cohesive painting,” said Tyler Hudock.

Each painter is assigned a box on the wall with a number on it. Once the color coded grid is complete it matches the original sketch.

The finished product?

A Baltimore theme, complete with a Raven, an Oriole and a mustang–the school mascot.

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“This is their piece that they can take pride in. And it’s a nice colorful piece that will be in the school for a very long time,” Michael Wade.

And inspiring pint-sized Picassos along the way.

“I probably want to be an artist when I grow up because like to paint,” said one student

Organizers say the goal is to promote unity and school spirit for the upcoming school year.

State employees will receive four hours of paid leave if they choose to participate in the day of service initiative.

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