Kindergartners spread holiday cheer

Dec. 14, 2013 @ 12:44 PM

A class project that got students to talk about what they are thankful for has grown into another project that emphasizes family and reaches out to those who are elderly and alone.

Stephanie Reid’s kindergarten class at Seawell Elementary went into the Thanksgiving holiday discussing what they were thankful. When the class realized that family was a trend among the responses, they began to discuss people with families who live far away and people with no family at all.
So the class got to work making holiday cards to give to those who would appreciate the feelings of family that are common, particularly during the holiday season and share their sense of togetherness.
“I recently spent some time at an assisted living home and I noticed people without visitors or family there,” Reid said. “I remember my year working at Carol Woods in high school and how that would be a good place to send cards.”
After getting the go-ahead from the director at Carol Woods Retirement Facility in Chapel Hill, Reid and her class got to work.
The first 60 cards were for Thanksgiving. The class is now hard at work on their second set of 60 for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, winter and the start of a new year.
“The kids took this job very seriously,” explained Reid. “They all made beautiful cards and used their best kindergarten handwriting for the residents there. We even told our neighboring kindergarten class and they helped us make a few too.”
With stickers, glue sticks, holiday cutouts and markers, the students continued their labor of love. While some collaborated, some students chose to work alone as they put their feelings about the holidays on paper.
As she placed a snowflake on a card and prepared to write “Merry Christmas” and “ho! ho!, ho!” inside, May Thu Win said that she enjoyed making the holiday cards.
“They’re for people who don’t have families and that makes me happy,” she explained. “I make them beautiful.”
Abby Shavel enjoys drawing patterns and saw the card-making as a way to flex her artistic muscle.
“I like to do it because I like drawing and with this I get to draw,” Shavel said without looking up from her design.
Keiran Viswanathan sat quietly as he figured out how to decorate his card.
“They’re for people who don’t have family and their cousins are very far away,” he said, adding that he was going to write “love Keiran” inside each card he made.
Reid said that the project was also a way to introduce the children to different holiday traditions and how people of different cultures celebrate.
“It also teaches them how doing kinds things for others is a really good thing to do,” said Reid. “When the residents receive cards, it makes them really happy. They’ve said it makes them feel like kids again.”