A group of Grade 9 students at Abbotsford’s Robert Bateman Secondary are aiming to spread some holiday cheer to local seniors in care.
For the past three weeks, Visual Arts teacher Claire Apostolopoulos and her Art 9 class have been learning about lino cutting and block printing. Students will now be using those skills to create holiday cards to Abbotsford seniors at the Oxford Senior Care home on Sherwood Crescent.
Apostolopoulos stated that she believes the holidays are about so much more than opening presents and she hopes this project instills that spirit in her students.
“December is typically a month where we think about acts of kindness and giving to others,” she said. “Giving does not need to be a material thing; it can be more than presents and gifts. It’s about reaching out to others, offering support and creating connections in our community, and helping to put a smile on someone else’s face through your actions.”
She said creating and then delivering these cards gives her students the chance to share holiday wishes and spread some cheer to those who may really need it.
Apostolopoulos explained that her Art 9 class is an introductory course and students involved in creating cards learned about everything from the tools used to designing an image and fine tuning the final project. Each student made three cards – two were given to friends and family and one was given to a community member.
“It was a real trial and error process,” she said, noting that the intricate design steps had to be followed closely. “The great thing about this project is it can be adapted for all ability levels. Students who are a bit more confident and advanced in their skill level can choose to make quite detailed carvings, and others who are still developing their skills can choose a design that is more suitable to their developing skills.”
She then reached out to Oxford and it was a perfect match – Bateman has 80 students participating in the project and they have 80 residents at the home. Several students will be going to the home next week to deliver all the cards on behalf of the three classes involved.
Apostolopoulos said students are pleased that the seniors will get a chance to enjoy their work.
“I think it is important for us to connect with seniors because they may not have anyone nearby to be with over the holidays and it can make them feel special,” said student Lilah Ellis.
“I hope they like the cards and it makes them happy,” said student Adiel Moodley.
Apostolopoulos said the same students are also partnering with ICBC on their ‘Think of Me’ campaign, aimed at reducing impaired driving.
Students all over the district are creating art on bags that depicts smart choices drivers can make in order to keep themselves and others safe over the holidays.The bags will be distributed at liquor stores in December.