THE BRONX - Officials unveiled a 7-foot-tall, carved cherry wood statue at I.S. 254 on Washington Avenue Wednesday.

The sculpture, called "The Child," was donated by Japanese artist Akihiro Ito through a collaboration with the Fordham Road Business Improvement District.

"I hope the sculpture reminds people we are part of nature, so we have to think about preserving nature for the next generation," Ito says.

School officials repaid the honor by giving Ito an official school shirt.

Principal Alex Marrero says the piece also represents what he called the "revitalization" of Fordham Plaza.