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Students show veterans love

Richmond Register - 2/22/2020

Feb. 22--The Lexington Veterans Affairs Hospital received a surprise from Madison County Schools on Valentines Day when they received hand made Valentine's cards.

Robin New, an art teacher at Madison Southern, said she got the idea from Nash 92.9 when they made a call for 2,000 handmade Valentine's cards that they would then deliver to the VA hospital. New decided to make the cards count for bonus points for any student who wanted to participate, so that instead of her classes being made to do the cards they would be coming from a "meaningful place."

Overall, 89 cards were made by students at Southern. New explained her art II students had been focusing on 3D artwork. So, 25 of her students in that class created hand sewn cards. She said some students sewed a design and then attached it to a card while others sewed onto actual card stock. New said, once the cards were all finished, they ended up being "really special."

"I feel like anytime you can, in more than just a quick 'thank you for your service,' show (veterans) that you appreciate all that they have done, you should," New said. She went on to say the art students were able to use their talent, which was art, in order to thank the veterans for their talent, which was protecting their country.

"I knew that it would mean a lot to them just to know that somebody was thinking about them on Valentines Day," New said.

Madison Southern wasn't the only Madison County school to take part in the gifting of Valentine's Day cards to the VA Hospital. Foley Middle School art students also created hand made cards.

Foley students made their Valentine cards using a print making technique. Patricia Wenier, an art teacher, said that with the print making process, they used printing plates and were able to make multiple copies and use different colors of ink. Once the Valentines were designed, students wrote sweet messages inside of them. Wenier said some students opted out of the print making process and made cards with construction paper.

Holly Whitacker, an eight grader at Foley Middle, explained the design she made for her card was based on Valentine's Day so she drew lots of hearts. She said, for the process, the students would trace their design with a pencil on a foam board and then put their desired ink on a printing plate and transfer that ink to the foam board and then onto the paper cards.

"It felt really good to be able to make the cards because I know that (the veterans) did a lot for us, they put their lives on the line for our freedom," Whitacker said.

Karrie Johnson, a sixth grader at Foley Middle, kept to the holiday theme by drawing a sunny day with a flower that had a heart in the middle of it.

"They go away from their families and sacrifice everything to serve our country," Johnson said when asked why she felt that making the Valentine's cards for veterans was important.

Because of how the print making process allowed for multiple copies of cards to be made, Foley Middle School students were able to make more than 200 Valentines for veterans.

"We're really proud of ourselves for that," Wenier said.

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