WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A custodian at Westfield Abner Gibbs Elementary School has been vacuuming illustrations into a rug each morning to bring smiles to third-grade students.
Hank Kimball has adopted it as a routine, creating flags, trees, sailboats, and even 22News with the vacuum cleaner. 22News visited the school and spoke with Hank and the students about how this all began.
The artist behind these uplifting illustrations told 22News why he began creating them. “It started with me just making the lines in the carpet with the vacuum cleaner, somebody said they really liked how it look so clean and stuff,” said Westfield Abner Gibbs Custodian, Hank Kimball. “One day I was doing it and I was like you know what let me just try a little design.”
Hank adds, “it affects the children in how excited they are about it and I just thought, oh wow, that’s amazing.”
It has been an experience for the students to see his work every morning as they enter the classroom. “They’re walking around the carpet trying to be careful and figure it out, and it’s like this little brain teaser,” said Carolyn Laframboise, Westfield Abner Gibbs Elementary School 3rd grade teacher.
“It makes me happy and gets my mind ready in the morning,” expressed Westfield Abner Gibbs Elementary School 3rd grader Jon Baahre.
While this rug has been used as a focal point for reading time, the illustrations have now brought an additional meaning to it. Hank’s art will continue to be shared with this class and many others in the future.