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Sending Smiles to Ukraine

After listening to an inspirational picture book about children who made a difference, one class at Mendon Center Elementary School was asked to think about something they believe to be unjust and what they could do to change it. What started as an idea by one fourth grade student to write words of encouragement to children in Ukraine amidst the ongoing fighting turned into a school-wide effort.

With the help of art teachers, Danielle Sargent and Mallory Gregor, students in all grade levels K-5 completed sunflower paintings using water color and colored pencil that were then printed on postcards where students wrote positive messages of peace to Ukrainian children and their families. Sunflowers, a main agricultural crop of Ukraine, have become the national flower and unofficial symbol of peace. The bright yellow flowers against the blue sky are representative of Ukraine’s flag’s colors.

Pittsford Schools teamed up with RocMaidan, a community organization that provides support to Ukraine through local advocacy and humanitarian aid, to help arrange the delivery of the postcards. Principal Heather Clayton dropped off more than 650 postcards written by Mendon Center students, which will go into backpacks for children at a school in Ukraine and in supply boxes for medics.

class of students hold up postcards with their paintings of sunflowers  postcards with paintings of sunflowers  two students writing at a table words of encouragement on postcards  Dropping off postcards to partners at RocMaidan  Student's postcard of encouragement and hope to a child in Ukraine.  two boys hold up their postcards  "Sending you a hug. Love Isaac"