Isle of Wight students ‘paint the plow’

Published 3:52 pm Thursday, November 30, 2023

Four Isle of Wight County schools are the first in Hampton Roads to participate in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s “Paint the Plow” initiative.

The program, which entails having students paint snow plows during the fall offseason, is intended as a means of promoting safe driving in winter.

“Painting the snowplows brings more notice to them when they’re on the road; it provides a unique, hands-on experience for students,” county Transportation Coordinator Julie Boswell told Isle of Wight’s supervisors on Nov. 16.

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The plows arrived at Smithfield Middle School, Smithfield High, Georgie D. Tyler Middle and Windsor High, on Oct. 15, giving students enrolled in art courses at each school just over a month to cover VDOT’s standard bright orange paint with a design of their choosing. VDOT collected the plows on Nov. 17 and is displaying the completed designs outside the county’s government complex on Monument Circle this week.

One of the plows, painted by Georgie D. Tyler students, now sports a Christmas snow scene and the town of Windsor’s “heart of Isle of Wight” slogan. Another painted by Smithfield High School students, in a nod to the school’s “Packer Pig” mascot and the town’s centuries-long association with meatpacking, features an image of Santa’s sleigh being pulled by a team of hogs.

The public will have additional opportunities to view the plows during Smithfield’s and Windsor’s Christmas parades.

All four will be in each parade, according to Boswell and IWCS spokeswoman Lynn Briggs.

The Windsor parade is set for 4 p..m. on Dec. 2, beginning on Holland Drive and continuing down Roberts Avenue, Church Street and Duke Street.

The Smithfield parade is set for 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 9, starting at the west end of Main Street and continuing downtown through Mason, Grace and James streets.

Parade organizers for each town have created a special judging category this year for “best plow.”

Isle of Wight County will also set up online voting for the public to select a “people’s choice” winner.

Photos of the other plows are below: