Valentine cards for senior citizens, straight from the hearts of K-6 students at Blue Creek. Principal Annette Trapini said it’s the first time the school sent Valentines to nursing homes, but it was such a gratifying project, it might just become a new tradition.
“With all of the appropriate restrictions we have related to COVID, it can feel like we have drained a lot of the joy that we have in our typical school year with our typical school traditions,” said Principal Trapini. “We have made it a point to find new ways to build community in these unusual times.”
The idea for the Share Our Hearts project came up at last month’s PTA meeting while trying to think of a fun activity that could also serve as getting students involved in service projects. The PTA provided stickers and stamps, templates were created by art teacher Maya Trawinski with help from third grade teacher, Beth Geragosian and school counselor, Eileen Satterlee.
“Students learned that they can spread friendship and joy to others through small acts of kindness,” said Beth Geragosian. Liam, a third grade student who thought it was really fun to make the cards, said they were “sharing love and giving peace.” First grader Mehdi said, “We used stickers, and we colored them. Good coloring makes them happy.”
“In looking at the care and creativity that went into each Valentine, we know that they were made with love and it was a joyful experience for our students,” said Principal Trapini. The Valentines were sent to Colonie Senior Service Center, Rosewood Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and Shaker Place Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
“We got some fantastic cards. I know they are going to love them,” said the Director of Therapeutic Activities at Shaker Place, Deronda Daniels. All 194 residents will be getting the special valentines along with unique gift bags of treats the facility put together. Daniels explained how the need for this human touch is even greater because of the pandemic. “It was one thing when we stopped having people in the building, but nobody knew a whole year later, we would still be here,” Daniels said. “When we get cards and letters it opens up a whole new avenue that can touch our residents through words or artwork. It’s such a special thing when someone reaches to them from the outside. When someone reaches in, they are so excited and want to tell everybody.”