Students show thanks, encouragement to hospital staff


Although Schneck isn’t an acronym, Braylon Busby thinks it should be.

On Wednesday afternoon, Busby took colored chalk and spelled out what he believes the letters in Schneck stand for along a stretch of sidewalk outside the emergency department entrance.

Super, Caring, Hope, Nice, Experts, Courageous and Kind.

With the sun shining on a nearly 60-degree day, Busby and several other student government members from the Seymour Middle School Sixth Grade Center gathered at the Seymour hospital to decorate the sidewalks around the facility with inspirational messages for staff and patients.

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Busby wants everyone working in the hospital to know how much they are appreciated for all of the work they do to keep the community healthy, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I hope they feel happy and encouraged when they see the messages," he said.

He also wants patients and families entering the hospital to take notice.

The activity was a service project and a way for the school to show support for the community during the pandemic. Some of the messages were geared toward patients to keep getting better.

"It was fun," Busby said. "COVID has created many problems in 2020, and it might have been easy for someone to feel sad or mad about it, but with these messages, they might feel just a tiny bit better and make them smile."

Schneck staff members said the students’ efforts did just that.

"The beautiful chalk art warms our hearts," said Ashley Boas, special imaging ultrasound technologist.

Rebecca Sims, a multi-modality technologist, said she saw the students’ work when she left work Wednesday.

"It made me so happy to know I work at an incredible hospital with such an amazing team," she said.

Although she doesn’t see patients, Alyssa Gentry, hospitalist coordinator, said the messages made her day better.

"I may not be on the front lines, but walking out of work tonight seeing this put a smile on my face after a long day," she said.

Student Charlie Rockey said participating in acts of kindness always makes him feel good.

"I hope that it brightens someone’s day and makes them feel good inside, too," he said. "During the pandemic, the staff at Schneck have been working really hard to help all the sick people that come in, and they need some appreciation."

Caleb Jablonski’s dad is a physician at Schneck, so he was excited to be able to do something to show his thanks.

"It feels pretty amazing doing nice things for nice people," he said. "I want the patients and staff at Schneck to feel hope and know that they are doing great."

Jablonski said the messages might not seem like a big deal, but they could lift the spirits of those who need it.

"I think it is important that we did this for Schneck because during this time, the patients’ families can’t see their loved ones, and the Schneck staff are caring for these people," he said.

Olivia Wilp said she knows the messages and drawings will be seen by many.

"I felt like I really was putting a smile on people’s faces," she said. "I really do appreciate every one of the people working in that building and hope they know that everyone, especially now, really appreciates them. They have to work longer and be away from their families to work in a stressful job, and they may need just a little reminder to always stay happy."

The whole idea was just to be able to make somebody’s day brighter, said student Eli Reasoner.

"I hope that they know that they are loved and that they are special to us," he said. "I hope that it makes their day as they walk past it or see it out the window."

Both Laura Morris and Mary Campbell, who work in nutrition services, said the messages were a great way to lift their spirits.

"It put a smile on my face when I came in at 5:30 this morning," Morris said.

"It’s an amazing feeling when you are tired and see these messages," Campbell said. "It brightens your day. It feels like a star in your cap when you’ve had a hard day. You know that it’s well worth your efforts."

Also participating Wednesday were Principal Loriann Wessel, Assistant Principal Ashley Stahl, guidance counselor Samantha Browning and teachers Maria Hauersperger and Robin Ramp.

The sixth grade center teachers and staff are participating in a fundraiser by donating money to wear jeans to school. All funds will go to buy supplies and create care packages for Schneck employees.

"We’re focusing on some of the departments at the hospital that are overwhelmed right now that we don’t really think about, like the environmental team that does all the cleaning and the pharmacy," Wessel said.

Since Wednesdays are eLearning days for sixth- through 12th-graders, the students and school staff who participated in the chalk art activity didn’t have to worry about being absent from class.

"They didn’t have to be here," Wessel said. "They wanted to be here."

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