Connecting kids over an ocean

Haitian children drew messages and pictures to bring back to the United States.
Haitian children drew messages and pictures to bring back to the United States.

When Judie Jackson, operating room nurse at Children’s, found out she would be coming to Haiti, she asked her 8 year old niece, Isabella, if she wanted to send a greeting to the school children in Cange. “I thought it would be nice to have a connection between the kids in America and the kids here,” she says. Jackson bought a big blank banner over 10 feet long, and gave it to her niece, who had the idea to bring it to her class at Medway Elementary School. There, her classmates joined in, drawing pictures, greetings and telling the children all about their life in America. “They all knew that Haiti had experienced an earthquake, and they were sad for the children,” says Jackson. “All the messages were very helpful and uplifting.”

dayfourschool_03242010_0584Jackson got the opportunity to take the banner to a group of 6 and 7 year old in Cange’s elementary school, escourted by Jackie, the art director at the hospital. All the kids stood up as they entered the classroom, and in union, said “Bonjour visitors!” The banner was scrolled out on the floor, to the delight of the kids. “They were all in awe of all the pictures and the colors,” says Jackson. It was taped to the blackboard, and then Jackson rolled out a blank piece in the middle off the classroom and brought out crayons so they could draw a greeting back to the United States. “Most of them were very timid at first, but with the encouragement of the teachers, they were able to quickly start drawing their messages.”

dayfourschool_03242010_0587Jackson, a pediatric nurse, says she was encouraged by all the smiley faces that the kids drew. “Being a pediatric nurse, I feel like kids say a lot with their art,” she says. “I think what they draw says a lot about how they are feeling about their environment.” The banner will be hung at Children’s for a short time, and then will be brought back to her niece’s class, “I think it’ll be reassuring for the kids in the United States that these children are okay.”

  • Maria

    what a wonderful and heartbreaking idea. It made me cry. It so nice for children to see that other children care about them!