The fabulous fall foliage painted on the windows that line our Locust bridge is thanks to 6 students at Chapel Hill Christian School’s North Campus, their dedicated art teacher and a couple of Akron Children’s patients who happened to wander by.
To art teacher Mary Elizabeth Norman, involving kids in a project to help kids is a picture-perfect idea. She has brought student groups to paint windows in our ER several times. And Norman, who has taught art at the Chapel Hill’s North Campus for 7 years, said she plans to bring a group of her students to do the bridge windows each season.
“Whoever gets the chance to paint windows? This presents an excellent opportunity to get the kids out of the classroom and out doing something fun with a purpose,” said Norman. “Every trip the kids have here is special. People will stop and talk with us and we love it when the patients want to paint with us. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Nichole Aber couldn’t agree more. Her daughter Katelyn, 7, has endured weekly trips from Ashland for testing, which includes a lot of downtime waiting for results.
Their routine includes: Testing first, then playtime on the playground, a visit to the gift shop “for a little something something” and some quality time watching the balls make their rounds in the ball machine.
But chilly temperatures had the family looking for more indoor diversions to kill time, so they set out to explore the hospital and they found themselves drawn to the Locust bridge for the first time.
“We saw the kids painting and they were kind enough to let Katelyn in on it,” said Nichole. “We’re really grateful we ran into them and they have been so kind to us. She’s having a ball, and next week, when we come back, it will be neat for her to know that she was a part of all of this.”
Sixth-grader Hannah Lux said she thinks everything happens for a reason, including their project to make the bridge festive for patients and staff.
“It is really fun knowing people are looking at your work and that the art is going to make them happier,” said Hannah.
Fifth-grader Killian Deetscreet said making art makes him feel better, and he hopes it makes our patients feel better, too.
“I think it is awesome to go somewhere to express our feelings through our artwork,” Killian said.
Other students who lent their time and expertise include: Allison Wims, Minya Roper, Blaise Robinson and Ariel Durham.
So enjoy the fall theme as you stroll through the bridge and go ahead and smile. That’s exactly what the kids want you to do.