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Ken-Ton art project helps patients at Oishei

The entire district collected art supplies. Students also designed coloring pages to go along with the theme of each floor of the hospital.

TONAWANDA, N.Y. — Students in the Ken-Ton district spent the entire year putting together a unique display to help other children in need. About 600 students worked on "A Map of Peace" this school year.

The large-scale mural is part of the Healing Arts Program at Oishei Children's Hospital.

"It was really great to see my kids really grow and take something real serious, that it's not just a project in our class, that it's something bigger," says Denise Carr, Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda UFSD Art Coordinator.

Last summer, some of the art teachers came up with the idea. They wanted to do something that involved all grade levels, and the students got on board right away.

“They can look at the painting and the picture and it's going to bring a child-like sense again," Kenmore East High School Junior Ethan Johnson said.

Added Jessica Simpson, a Kenmore East freshman: "It makes me feel very happy to know that I helped and made something that can bring the kids joy when they see it."

First, each third-grader in the district made an abstract watercolor painting.

"And then we took all those water color paintings and chopped them up into 4-by-4-inch squares, and redistributed them, and then sent them off to the seventh-graders. They then made them into the compositions that you see here, and we glued them all down, and the high school students came together and drew on the top," Carr said.

The entire district collected art supplies. Students also designed coloring pages to go along with the theme of each floor of the hospital.

"There are some animals for the animal themed floors," says Antonina Chimento, a Kenmore East High School sophomore.

The mural will go on the 11th floor, a medical/surgical unit, also known as the Imagination Floor.

"You can look at it a million times and see something different each time. So, it's bittersweet. You know, like, we're so excited that it's going to a great home, but yeah we definitely have grown attached to it," art teacher Gina McCartney said.

The students and teachers will deliver everything to the hospital on Tuesday.

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