Chelsea Park students send smiles across country

Nursing home residents all over the country now have works of art to hang on their walls, courtesy of students at Chelsea Park Elementary.

All 740 Chelsea Park students put their own spin on coloring sheets in Jessica Moore’s art class to send to Color A Smile, a nonprofit organization that collects the drawings and sends them to nursing homes.

“I think it’s important for them to know about giving,” Moore said. “They keep every project they make. I wanted them to know what it was like to give a project away.”

She said the students worked hard to make sure their drawings were picture-perfect for their recipients. The coloring sheets were completed and sent off the week before Thanksgiving. All the children put their first names and ages on their coloring sheets so the recipients would know a little about who made their works of art.

“They felt really good about it. They were asking questions like, ‘Where is this going?’ ‘Will they like it?'” she said. “I think they tried harder because they know it would go elsewhere. They did a really good job. Even the kindergarteners were really, really trying hard to stay in the lines.”

Third-grader Madeline Moody said she was glad to do the project because of what it would mean to someone else.

“I’m happy because people in the nursing home will feel better, because they’ll have artwork to give them a smile,” she said.

Moore said that kind of reaction is why she did the project, even though she would like for the next class project to be more creative.

“We knew the coloring sheets weren’t very creative, but it was about the giving,” she said. “My Mom always said, ‘It’s Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for?’ The other part of the word is ‘giving.'”

Moore said it was important for her to balance her responsibility as an educator with her desire to help others.

“My goal was to have 740 ready to be sent out,” she said. “My goal was also to have 740 lives brightened by this project, and that the kids would feel fulfilled.”

Moore’s classes did the project in conjunction with Brownie Troop 75 in Chelsea.

For more information on Color A Smile, visit Colorasmile.org.