POCANTICO HILLS, N.Y. -- Pocantico Hills students in grades 5 - 8 recently worked on a project to make Valentine's Day a little brighter for others in the community. The students spent a lunch/recess period in the Family and Consumer Science classroom making valentine cards for senior citizens.
“It is a kind gesture, and one that makes the seniors and students very happy,” said Ilana Brennan, FACS teacher.
Seventh-grader Ty Amsterdam gets credit for initiating the program three years ago. “When we entered middle school, my friends and I missed having class parties celebrating holidays,” he said. “I’m a big believer that life should be celebrated! So I asked if we could combine community service with a party, and ‘Operation Valentine’ was approved.”
His late great-grandmother lived in an assisted living community, and he recalled how some of the residents were lonely.
“I knew it would be nice to make valentine cards for them," he said. "Now we always deliver the cards on or near Valentine’s Day, and it’s very gratifying to see how happy the residents become.”
The event brightens the day of the students who eat lunch and special treats while designing and creating the cards, as well as the senior citizens who receive them, according to a release from Pocantico Hills Central School District.
The cards are delivered to Atria Briarcliff Manor, a supportive living community where residents are glad for the cards and interaction, the release said.
The students receive community service credit for their involvement, and get a “good feeling,” they say, for participating in the event.
“I congratulate Ty on his outstanding leadership skills and contributions for our community, and I am really proud of this group,” said Brennan, who is also the advisor to the Student Government.