Students at the Juan Morel Campos Secondary School on Heyward Street have been working to provide a little cheer to children in Harlem as they undergo treatments for a variety of ailments.
The students, part of the honor society at Juan Morel, have worked for the past five months to create artwork for the pediatric wing of the Metropolitan Hospital Center in Harlem.
The project is the brainchild of Joshua Good, a math teacher at the school and the advisor to the Honor Society.
Working with kids in hospitals was the focus of the Honor Society this year and the group picked the Harlem hospital having previously worked with its staff sending greeting cards and donations to its patients.
So far, students have installed artwork in three treatment rooms and the emergency room in the pediatric wing.
“For younger kids it’s even scarier and we wanted to make it a less scary and less horrible experience,” said Good. “Seeing and hearing the students’ thoughts and ideas on this project was extremely rewarding. Anytime you can help someone in a bad situation, it is a really special feeling, and they did an amazing job with it.
Over 100 students worked on the project during the past five months, and 8 of those students went over to the hospital last Wednesday to begin installing the artwork.
The work itself offers a combination of themes, including the alphabet as well as some colorful abstract art. The art is created in such a way that is not all encompassing. Instead of a wall mural, for example, they opted for smaller pieces inserted around the walls and closer to the hospital equipment, to keep the patient’s attention diverted from their immediate surroundings. And the hospital staff makes use of the diversions, with nurses calling their young patients attention towards the artwork, asking them, for example, to identify an animal on the wall.
While at the hospital last Wednesday, students also spent time reading to kids in the emergency room waiting area. Over the coming weeks, students will install work in some of the other treatment rooms in the pediatric wing before moving on to the adult wing.
The Honor Society is also in talks with a hospital closer to the school in Williamsburg, where students hope to pursue similar work in the near future.