FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A mural recognizing Fort Worth ISD’s more than 14,000 special education students will be dedicated this month.

Work on the approximately 13-by-26 foot mural, at 1900 8th Ave in Fort Worth, got underway during the Thanksgiving break.

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It was commissioned by the FWISD Special Education PTA.

The mural illustrates a diversity of student hands releasing multi-colored butterflies to the east, FWISD explained in a news release.

The butterflies will land in a companion mural being painted for the Grand Prairie ISD.

(credit: Fort Worth ISD)

The unique colors of the butterflies represent awareness ribbons and colors for the special education students represented within the District such as ADHD, limb loss, cerebral palsy, neurodiversity, Down syndrome and others.

“The mural with its focus on awareness is part of the special education PTA’s goal of working toward inclusion in a way that is fun and effective,” said Dr. David Frugé, FWISD Special Education PTA events chair. “We hope to continue to bring awareness to the hard work our special education students do in the classroom, in extracurricular activities, in their communities and in their homes.”

(credit: Fort Worth ISD)

Fort Worth-based artist, educator and U.S. Army reservist Juan Velázquez designed and painted the mural.

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In recent months he’s painted more than 30 murals across the Metroplex.

Among his most notable pieces, is “Fort Worth for Vanessa,” an approximately 50-by-25-foot mural located on Hemphill Street. The mural is in memory of soldier Vanessa Guillén who was murdered at a Fort Hood armory in April.

Velázquez’s mural of some of D-FW sports stars adorns a wall at a Grand Prairie auto business.

The FWISD Special Education PTA launched a fundraiser in mid-November to fund the mural recognizing the District’s special education students, and nearly $5,500 was raised.

With the monies collected, the PTA group funded the mural painted last week, a future mural and its next festival being planned for 2021.

Approximately $2,000 was set aside to support special education teachers and therapists purchasing items for their students and classrooms.

The mural dedication replaces the group’s third annual fall festival and will be streamed sometime in December on social media and Zoom platforms.

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