Posted February 2, 2012
"It's nice to be spreading love on
Valentine's Day, even from afar." - eighth grader Rebekah DePugh
Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate and
express love. Shaker Junior High School art teacher Mrs. Mary
Lancaster’s students are once again getting a unique experience to
do just that.
For the fifth year in a row, her students
created Valentine's decorations for the Melodies Center for
Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical Center. This
year, her class donated 166 creative hearts.
"From year to year, the kids enjoy making the
decorations and can see the value in bringing cheer to the patients
at Albany Medical Center and their families," Lancaster said. "For
these reasons, I continue to do the project each year."
View photo gallery of the students and their valentines
Lancaster says that some students attempt to
connect on a personal level by drawing cartoons on their valentine
or writing an inspirational message. She recognizes that her
students’ main goal is to help ease the patients the time spent in
the hospital to whatever extent possible.
"I think this is one of the best projects I have
ever done because we're helping kids by making them happy and being
creative at the same time," seventh grader Jakob Cansler said.
The hospital often sends pictures of the
patients holding their valentines to Mrs. Lancaster. She says this
has a wonderful impact on her students.
“It really puts everything in perspective for
them,” she said. “To see their valentine in the hands of another
child who is battling this terrible disease, it really helps them to
see the connection and difference they’re making.”
Perhaps it is best summed up by eighth grader
"I like showing the patients that they aren't
alone. They haven't been forgotten."