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A school builds bridges

The rainbow accompanied the Kirchenfeld high school at Lyss over a colourful project week. The aim of the project week was to improve contacts between the village population and the school.

The teachers encountered the rainbow in the Emmental valley. Enthusiastic about the rainbow 01 exhibition at Lützelflüh, they came home to Lyss, saying to themselves: "We’d like to do something like this, too".

There is something going on at the Kirchenfeld school. Here is a teacher smiling happily and sawing wood using a motor saw. A girl is mixing paints in different buckets, chatting with her friends. There is loud music coming from a classroom, in a corridor branches are tied together to form an arty wood construction, and everywhere students are painting, cutting and laughing. And this is just another morning, really. "During the project week everything is a little different to normal" says the head teacher of the school, Martin Kuster. "We would like to encourage the people of Lyss to start thinking about things. The rainbow is also a bridge for communication. We want to show the community the Kirchenfeld is a lively school." Over the last couple of years a gap had appeared between the community and the school. "We have to bridge this gap. The community should identify and support the school and vice versa."

For the Lyss people this translates to: Over the next weeks they will have to get used to encountering all sorts of new images, strange colours and unusual symbols all through their village. Be it bands stretching across the Lyssbach near the Herrengasse school, be it a tower made from flags in the center of the roundabout by the Bären or a rainbow pub at Glaser square. Colourful hydrants in neighbourhood streets or a labyrinth made from branches of the red currant bush complete the picture. At the school the columns by the entrance have been re-painted, the pupils produce a daily edition of the «rainbow» wall paper, reports on the project week are continually published on the school’s homepage. A wall installation including the word "rainbow" in all languages spoken at the school illustrates one of the school mottos. The pupils are making reports for the local TV station, collecting answers to the question: "What is a rainbow to you?"