WHS students take part in window-painting project

These were the kinds of simple messages that Worthington High School students were asked to illustrate on windows at Sanford Worthington Medical Center this week. The WHS art teacher Gail Holinka and around 15 students spent parts of three days painting in the hospital.

Members of the school’s AOK (Art, Optimist, Kiwanis) club were involved in the painting, and Holinka said the project is also open to all students who are interested in volunteering.

“The hospital had emailed Mr. (Superintendent John) Landgaard and he forwarded it to me and asked if we should do this,” said Holinka. “I thought we had to do something.”

Sanford staff provided a sketch of what they were going to do for the windows, and the WHS students began laying out the pictures on Monday. Painting started on Tuesday and continued on Wednesday, with different students offering their help on different days.

“It’s good for the kids,” said Holinka. “They are doing distance learning at home and that way they connect with some people and are part of a nice community service. This is what the AOK Club is all about. “

Students used tempera paint mixed with some soap to make the cleaning process easier once the artwork was removed. Meanwhile, Holinka hopes the painted windows will lighten the mood of people entering and leaving the hospital lobby.

“The goal is to bring a little luck in the middle of tough days,” she said, adding that students “were painting downtown windows during the holidays, but it’s been a long time since we did that.”

Among the students who were busy on Wednesday lunchtime were Junior Emma Singler and newcomer Ben Schreiber. Both had seen a post on the Schoology Window Project, a social messaging service used throughout the Worthington Independent School District 518.

“I love to paint, and it’s a great way to volunteer,” said Singler, who added that students had an opportunity to be creative despite following a template. “We can decide what the lettering looks like and what the linework looks like. For the trees, the leaves would look different than the trunks, for example. “

Schreiber said he was interested in helping with the project in part because he was looking forward to PSEO (Post Secondary Enrollment Options) and possible membership in the National Honor Society, but was also happy to be part of a larger group effort.

“I definitely enjoy helping the community,” he said. “There are a lot of people who work here (in the hospital) who are under a lot of stress, and hopefully this can make them smile.”

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