Cardinal Stritch student service project

. February 27, 2017.
Cardinal Stritch Art teacher Lauren Hurd shows the Cardinal Coloring Book created by students in her Art 1 class.
Cardinal Stritch Art teacher Lauren Hurd shows the Cardinal Coloring Book created by students in her Art 1 class.

Toledo has an impressive art scene and one of the country’s best art museums, as well as a talented and generous group of young area artists.

From art project to service project

Lauren Hurd is a first year art teacher at Cardinal Stritch and she has already found a way to connect her art projects and students to a bigger cause.

What started out as a class assignment turned into something much more. “My Art 1 class was focusing on creating patterns and designs for a print-making project, and [the students] kept telling me they wanted to color their designs,” said Hurd. “They brought up the whole adult coloring book idea and we were all saying ‘Yeah! We should make one and print it.”

Between 60 and 70 high school students submitted possible designs to be included. About a third of the students’ work was selected to be published in the 28 page coloring book and the students played a vital part in the arrangement and process of creating the book.

Therapeutic benefit

“I have a couple friends who are nurses at Toledo Children’s Hospital and they repeatedly told me they had a lot of coloring books and activities for younger children but not many for teens,” Hurd explained. This conversation led to the donation of the coloring books to the teenage patients at the hospital. “I liked the idea of giving something physical that they could look back on, rather than a tablet” she added.

Adult coloring is a growing trend and researchers praise the benefits of the practice as adult coloring acts as a sort of meditation that lowers stress levels, promotes creation and expels negative thoughts.

Toledo Children’s Hospital found the coloring book to be a therapeutic benefit to the parents of children at the hospital, as well as their adolescent patients.

When asked about future projects, Hurd explained, “I had a parent ask if I was planning on doing this in the future. I think this would a highly justifiable yearly project.”

The Cardinal Coloring Book has brought smiles to many faces, and most of all to Hurd. “I just am incredibly impressed and proud of my students”.