Gardens preschoolers make inspiring art to comfort shooting survivors

Updated March 08, 2018
Pre-school students at the Mandel JCC in Palm Beach Gardens made “Hearts for Hope” to send to an art teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School so that the hallways would be covered with colorful, inspiring art when students returned to school after the Feb. 14 mass shooting. Photo courtesy of The SBS Agency/Mandel JCC

Two- and three-year-old children may be small, but they have a lot of love to give the survivors of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

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That was the message the children at the Barbara and Jack Kay Early Childhood Learning Center at the Mandel JCC sent to the high school students, along with the hearts they made with water color paints and black glue.

FULL COVERAGE: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting

The art pieces were photographed and assembled into a frame with a note to the students, teachers and staff of the Parkland school. The center is also sending laminated versions of each heart to Sandra Traub, an art teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The “Hearts for Hope” project started when Mandel JCC teacher Hannah Fleischer received an email from a parent asking for encouraging work to send to Straub. Another art teacher solicited other Broward County art teachers to send artwork, hearts and messages of encouragment to the Douglas students.

Students returned to school Feb. 28.

Nikolas Cruz, a former student armed with an AR-15, shot and killed 17 people and wounded 17 others in the Valentine’s Day shooting. On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted him on 34 counts of premeditated murder and attempted murder.