A group of talented teens from Baldwin High School brought their art and care to Long Island Jewish Valley Stream hospital on Tuesday. Fourteen students from the school’s Art 2 & 3 classes donated their paintings to the Art-By-Choice program at the hospital. The initiative allows patients and family members to choose which painting will hang in their hospital room.
Students, along with their parents, teachers, school officials and hospital staff were all on hand for the presentation of the paintings. James Prendergast, who has been a patient at LIJ Valley Stream for a few days, was a special invited guest. Mr. Prendergast was brought into the room and quietly listened to everyone who got up to speak. He viewed all 14 paintings on the stage in the hospital’s Shankman Auditorium and when he was asked to choose from the paintings the teens had carefully created, he picked a scene with a wistful looking dark brown puppy in it.
“I chose that painting, because I felt like it speaks to you, and I think it would do that even more so for children,” said Mr. Prendergast. “If some people need support in their hospital room, especially if the room is quiet, the painting just makes you feel like it has a message. It’s saying ‘don’t worry we’re all in this together.” Mr. Prendergast got choked up when a television reporter asked him about his choice. He also had kind words for the students who gave their time and talent to the project.
“I feel as if they all have a heart, good values and compassion,” Mr. Prendergast said. “I think the project is great especially because it’s a community hospital and that’s important to everyone in the community, to work and support one another that way. And when I’m out of here I will be working to support others who are in need.”
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About Long Island Jewish Valley Stream
Long Island Jewish Medical Center at Valley Stream is a 305-bed hospital offering a wide range of programs and services to patients from Nassau and Southeastern Queens counties. The hospital has one of the most advanced Emergency Departments in the region. The hospital is also home to the Orzac Center for Rehabilitation, a 120-bed skilled nursing facility featuring long-term care, rehabilitative medicine and an Adult Day Health Care Program.