Health First’s Center for Child Development Kids Make Art Hearts for Holmes Regional Medical Center Patients, Staff

By  //  February 14, 2023

The Heart Center at Holmes Regional Medical Center is area’s most advanced heart and stroke center

Juliette Hollar holds up her Valentine’s Day heart for visitors at Health First’s Center for Child Development. (Health First image)

Health First’s Center for Child Development preschoolers put glue to googly eyes, pipe cleaners and more to make happy hearts for patients and staff at The Heart Center for Valentine’s Day.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – On a recent morning, classroom teacher Cheryl Carroll was bent over a table of 4-year-olds at Health First’s Center for Child Development affixing pipe-cleaner arms and legs to heart characters. She folded the arms in front of the hearts in a symbolic hug.

“Have you ever been in the hospital?” asked the teacher, a 17-year veteran.

The kids all said no, they certainly hadn’t.

“Well, have you ever been sick? When you’re sick, don’t you want a hug? Don’t you want to know someone is thinking of you?”

Empathy is a big concept to explain. Better to demonstrate it.

Kids at the center have been busy making about 200 hand-built hearts to be handed out on Valentine’s Day to patients and their families, providers and staff at The Heart Center, the area’s most advanced heart and stroke center that’s next door at Holmes Regional Medical Center.

“This gives them an opportunity to be creative about giving back,” said Erika Barnes, Director of the Center for Child Development. “The Center for Child Development has a unique setup compared to other daycares because we have the capability and resources to get involved with the hospital and community.”

Center Teacher Katie Hepler works with Madison Reaves on her heart while Sadie Kopacz (at right) shows off her heart to a classmate. (Health First image)

During the holidays, the center’s children sent artwork to the Health First Family Pharmacy for display. For Easter, they’ll make colorful Easter eggs for the residents of the retirement home next to the school.

“Being a small child, you can still contribute … an act of kindness starts at a young age.”

The kids’ Valentine’s Day art will be displayed around the hospital for Heart Month.

“At Valentine’s Day, we read books and stories to them about love and family and friendships. It kind of goes hand in hand.”

Along with the Valentine’s Day heart cards hand-out, the health system has planned a short concert by in-house choir The Wellagains for noon, February 14, inside The Heart Center atrium.

Visit HF.org/news to keep up on the latest at Health First.

Center Teacher Katie Hepler works with Madison Reaves on her heart while Sadie Kopacz (at right) shows off her heart to a classmate. (Health First image)
Center Teacher Cheryl Carroll works with Lily Mulvania to get her heart ready to give away on Valentine’s Day down the sidewalk at The Heart Center at Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center. (Health First image)
Kids at Health First’s Center for Child Development have been busy making about 200 hand-built hearts to be handed out on Valentine’s Day to patients and their families, providers and staff at The Heart Center, the area’s most advanced heart and stroke center that’s next door at Holmes Regional Medical Center. (Health First image)
Center for Child Development Teacher Cheryl Carroll folds pipe-cleaner arms in front of a heart in a symbolic hug. (Health First image)
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