Summit Academy Secondary students send love!

Summit Academy Secondary students send love!

Summit Academy Secondary students create cards for children

AKRON — Summit Academy Secondary School students recently worked on their first batch of Kindness Cards for children affected by pediatric cancer or chronic illness. Pictured above, from left, are Richard Gardner, Azi’Onna Bright, Abby Wright, Nate Phelps and Quentin Garrett with art teacher Keytsa Bishop.

Students also decorated dozens of valentine boxes, with both items to be sent to Alliance based The Valentine Project, which sends cards and other greetings to children with serious diagnosis. School officials said the charitable organization was founded by Andrea Margida’s children, Gregory and Michaela Margida, in 2010 when they were teens to help children in health crises. The organization’s outreach to children and their siblings range from lighthearted greeting cards to decorated and filled valentine boxes and gifts bundled in homemade pillowcases.

“When kids get these cards, they really make a connection,” said Andrea Margida, president and CEO of The Valentine Project. She added a personalized card forms a friendship between sender and receiver, two anonymous people linked by a gesture of kindness.

Summit Academy Secondary School Principal Ralph Grant said the Kindness Cards project fits student goals to “be positive, purposeful and present” and offers an opportunity to use artistic skills. So far, the students have made about 40 cards — each meant to bring a laugh, a smile, a moment of normalcy to those whose daily life is overshadowed by a health condition.

According to Summit Academy officials, Summit Academy Schools provide a structured safe-haven for alternative learners. Compassionate teachers deliver highly specialized curriculum designed to engage children where they are developmentally. Using a therapeutic approach, Summit Academy Schools are a non-profit that foster belonging and social acceptance for every child.

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