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February 20, 2019

Middle school kids rewarded with Bob Ross costume day

February 11, 2019
Madison Middle School art student Ariceli Martinez, wearing her Bob Ross wig, listens to the artist speak on a video screen before painting began on Flash Bob Flash Mob Day on Feb. 7, 2019 in Abilene, Texas (Greg Jaklewicz / AP)

Now here’s some wigging out that everyone can get behind.

A middle school art class played dress up last week, as a reward from teacher Brady Sloane, spending the day dressed as legendary public access painter and wholesome internet icon Bob Ross.

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The students and Sloane all donned curly brown wigs and blue shirts and jeans to best approximate Ross’ signature style.

Over four dozen students participated in “Flash Bob Flash Mob Day,” a reward from Sloane for the students’ good work the previous semester.

“I wanted to find a way to reward them in a way that also continued enrichment in the program,” Sloane told the Abilene Reporter News. “Most of my students have heard of him. Once we realized this could happen, it’s been a lot of excitement.”

The students stood on the school auditorium’s stage and used music-stands as makeshift easels and painted along to an episode of Ross’ “The Joy of Painting” that played through a projector.

Parents and relatives were invited to class to take photo and video of the crimped artistes as they painted “happy, little trees” at the event, made possible through a grant Sloane applied for through the education-donation organization Donors Choose and a matching grant from the candy producer Smarties.

“This was just a fun way to incorporate art history, too,” Sloane said. “He’s a part of art history, right? The excitement the students feel when they realize this is an educational experience and a fun experience at the same time is just wonderful to watch.”

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