Sara Wentz, K-12 Art Teacher and Yearbook Adviser for Scales Mound School, received a letter from UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital’s Wendt Regional Cancer Center inviting her students to participate in a “Healing Art Garden” show. “The first thing I did after getting the letter was talk to my students and ask them if they wanted to participate,” Sara explains. She said the response was very positive with some students indicating their parents or grandparents had been patients at the Wendt Center.
The Healing Art Garden at the Wendt Center is an opportunity for young artists to show their work and brighten the day of the Wendt Center patients and families. As the leading cancer program in the community, hundreds of patients and families visit the center annually. The goal of the Healing Art Garden is to allow the minds of the people who visit the Wendt Center to have an adventure beyond cancer.
The goal resonated with Sara’s students and parents. “Initially, I sent home a permission slip for the students’ art to be posted in the Wendt Center,” says Sara. “Many of the parents responded in support of the idea.” They echoed the response Sara received from her students. “Parents were telling me they had been a patient or a family member who visited the Wendt Center and agreed having student art on display would be very enjoyable and give patients and visitors something to look at.”
The Healing Art Garden features students from area schools on a monthly basis. Each month a new school and students are featured. The Healing Art Garden launched earlier this year and has featured Potosi School District, Holy Ghost Elementary School, Dyersville Elementary, Peosta Elementary, and Scales Mound School District.
Sara had the opportunity to discuss this partnership with the Scales Mound School Board who applauded the idea and encouraged Sara to continue to support the students and the Wendt Center with this opportunity, which she said she fully intends to do.