In keeping with tradition, many CPS students spent time this week creating Valentine’s Day cards for their classmates, friends and family members. But some schools went further, using unique materials and heartfelt words to deepen connections within their communities.
Melody STEM School
The traditional colors for Valentine’s Day are red and white, but the 5th-graders at Melody STEM School made sure that all of their contributions were green.
To celebrate the holiday, these students presented Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams with a heart-shaped frame made entirely of recycled materials. Inside the frame was a photo of the students working on Melody’s recently painted outdoor mural.
“Every grade completed an art project using recyclable materials,” said Tracy Burton, the art teacher at Melody. “It’s an opportunity to reduce trash and utilize any and all resources that allow us to be creative.”
Now displayed in the art room, these projects have been weeks in the making, with Ms. Burton putting out a call for materials immediately after the holiday break.
“I asked for anything from old magazines to aluminum cans and plastic water bottles,” she said. “Many of my students brought supplies in from home, and the faculty and staff were very helpful in collecting everything else we needed.”
The kindergarteners at Melody transformed old toilet paper rolls into brightly-painted cilenders that were then glued onto a heart-shaped poster. Students in grades 1-3 cut plastic water bottles into flower shapes, while the fourth and fifth-graders rolled up magazine pages to create the heart-shaped frame that was presented to Commissioner Williams, who had come to Melody to discuss the importance of conservation and the CPS recycling program.
“The 5th-graders at Melody were bright students and enthusiastic about recycling,” said Commissioner Williams. “By their excitement, I know it will be a lifelong habit for them, and that they will encourage their parents, siblings and friends to recycle as well.”
Valentines for Vets
This month, students from Budlong and Burr elementary schools designed nearly 200 Valentine’s Day cards for residents of a local veteran’s hospital.
“I started out by explaining what a veteran is and why they deserve our gratitude,” said Budlong art teacher Linda Cohn. “The children were excited and intrigued, and they took their time creating very heartfelt valentines.”
Ranging in age from Kindergarten to 7th grade, students from both schools used their artistic talents to express good wishes to the veterans, many including lengthy messages of thanks and good luck. The cards were delivered to the Jesse Brown Veterans Medical Center by Illinois Congressman Mike Quigley, who has participated in the Valentines for Vets program for a number of years.
“This was a good opportunity for our students to say thank you to our veterans for their service,” said Burr Elementary principal William Klee. “It is an excellent gesture on our student’s behalf to share kind words on a day dedicated to love and friendship.”