West Madison youngsters share Valentine cheer with Madison Manor

West Madison students busily work on valentines for Madison Manor residents and their mothers. (CONTRIBUTED)
West Madison students busily work on valentines for Madison Manor residents and their mothers. (CONTRIBUTED)
Mikala Calhoun, from left, Joy Robinson and Aysiah Young proudly show Valentines they made at West Madison. (CONTRIBUTED)
Mikala Calhoun, from left, Joy Robinson and Aysiah Young proudly show Valentines they made at West Madison. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Senior citizens at Madison Manor may have a happier Valentine’s Day because of thoughtful youngsters at West Madison Elementary School.

Fifty students in West Madison’s expanded-day program made two Valentine’s cards for nursing home residents and one for their mother. Assistant principal Kathy D. Miller chose the low-cost project to jive with Valentines Day, Jump Rope for Heart and Random Acts of Kindness Week in February.

Miller learned about random acts week from fourth-grade teacher Sally Warren, who assigned students to write uplifting notes to teachers, staff and classmates. “West Madison is known as ‘the little school with a big heart,'” Miller said.

Students used donated materials from parents to make basic cards with red construction paper and a heart doily and flower- and heart-shaped cards.

Miller was surprised that many younger students didn’t know what a nursing home is. “A few older students had grandparents that are or were in a nursing home and talked about visiting them.”

Most students wrote thoughts like “I hope you feel better” and “I hope you have a good day.” One wrote, “I hope you have all the things you need, especially medicine to make you feel better.”

Kindergartner Ayden Childress said, “When I was in the hospital before Christmas, some people dressed up like Santa and brought me things. Now, I can do a good thing for the people at the ‘hospital.'”

Sixth-grader Soji Bedsole thought the Valentines were “a nice thing to do. I like to help others.”

“Our students know they matter and learn they can make a difference from participating in many service projects that West Madison does” year-round, Miller said.

West Madison administrators want to ‘grow’ the expanded-day program. Cost is $60 weekly or $110 for two.

“We offer teacher-led homework time, computer and iPad time, art, tutoring and sports,” Miller said. Triad Martial Arts and Fantasy Playhouse will perform. For the new CSI/detective unit during February, students will use deductive reasoning in “The Great Chocolate Caper.”

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