Six students at Schaumburg High School had their artwork picked for inclusion in a mosaic mural that is on display at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago as part of the Color for a Cure program.
Sponsored by Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Illinois, Ford Motor Co. Fund and Project SNAP, the project asked students to "Imagine a Cure to Type 1 diabetes" in a drawing, painting, or word painting. On the back of their images, they were asked to write a brief paragraph reflecting on the message and the content of what they created. Students selected were Alycia Rose Gonzales, Evan Jaras, Beth Kuehnl, Damaris Sanchez, Dhaval Thakkar and Lillian Xia.
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Each students' artwork becomes one tile in a larger piece that carries its own design and message. The content of the individual tiles can only be seen from close up.
"I thought this would be a good tie-in for social studies and citizenship, which we are trying to teach our students," said Heidi Tincknell, art department chair and teacher at Schaumburg High School. "It's also good for them to have a purpose to their artwork. They are making a difference with their art. They have a reason to do it well and to grow their skills and understanding."
The completed mural was purchased at auction by the hospital. Tincknell said her students are very excited their work will be displayed online, in a touring mural, and possibly find a permanent place in a hospital. All of the funds went to the Juvenile Diabetes Association.
This is the second year Schaumburg High School has participated in the program. Last year's project was "Grateful Nation," in which eight students were selected for their military-themed artwork and were interviewed for the organization's film.
Tincknell said students wrote insightful statements on their artwork. Damaris Sanchez wrote: "I believe that children with diabetes are very strong. I admire what you do. I hope that one day a cure is found. Until then, stay strong and imagine."
Dhaval Thakkar wrote: "There are always obstacles that people have to overcome. Some face bigger ones than others. Children that have diabetes are, according to me, the bravest people in the world. They have to face such a huge obstacle so early in their lives. I imagine that one day there will be a cure for diabetes and children will not have to worry about such diseases and enjoy their innocent lives."