WHITESBURG, Ky. — Post-It Note Picasso. That’s the title a second grade teacher has earned after creating murals around Letcher County. 

What You Need To Know

  • Tyler Watts is a second grade teacher in Letcher County

  • Letcher County was one of the counties in eastern Kentucky impacted by the floods

  • Letcher County Schools has delayed the start of their school year because of the flood damage

  • Watts is now creating art pieces out of post-it notes around Whitesburg to brighten up his community

Thousands of post-it notes are now spread across Letcher County.

Tyler Watts creating art using Post-it Notes in downtown Whitesburg (Spectrum News 1/Crystal Sicard)

“I’m trying to distract the anxieties a little bit and maybe make them want to come out and drive through town,” second grade teacher Tyler Watts said.Anxieties, Watts says, he has heard from children in his community as a result of the flood.

“The delay in school is bad. But one of the worst things that’s come out of this is like the kids hear stories of like when they hear thunder or see it start to rain. They have anxiety,” Watts said.

For the past 10 years, Watts has taught in Letcher County, a community near and dear to his heart.

“I’ve lived here my whole life and the school that I teach it’s where I went to school,” Watts said.

Using his skills as a Post-It Note Picasso, he decided to brighten up his community.

Tyler Watts created Sesame Street's Ernie in Post-it notes in Downtown Whitesburg (Tyler Watts)

“We see all these back-to-school pictures and things that other kids are doing but we’re not doing that and it’s a weird feeling, really weird feeling,” Watts said.

Driving through downtown Whitesburg, you’ll find Sesame Street Characters and even Hello Kitty, but among these art pieces, there are still traces of the destruction around town. 

“You notice it’s a little bit better than the day before. I mean nothing’s gonna get fixed overnight. I get that. But you do notice those things. I guess things seem to be a little bit better each and every passing day and I hope it continues that way,” Watts said.

As clean up continues, school prepares to start back up. Watts says he will continue to create positivity in his community, one post note at a time. 

Letcher County Public Schools is hoping to welcome staff and students into this new school year within the next few weeks.