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WELLINGTON — Amy Groom, art teacher at Wellington High School, gave her 70 students an assignment that was due May 1,.


Many of us remember leaving May Day baskets on neighbors’ porches as children. Instead of Mayday baskets with flowers, Groom has assigned her students to create 3D sculptures of hearts to place at someone’s doorstep.


She created a Facebook event for it, the “May Day ‘Have a Heart’ COVID-19 project” and shared her idea with all USD 353 employees, hoping the word would spread. People were encouraged to place the heart in the yard of a friend, family member or neighbor.


”I think during this pandemic and our isolation it is important to let others know you are thinking about them, that they are loved,” Groom said on her Facebook event page. “What better symbol to show that than a heart?”


The guidelines Groom gave her students were that hearts must be 3D.  They could be made out of anything you can find or collect — paper mache, chicken wire, cardboard, plastic bottles, milk jugs, aluminum cans, Styrofoam, yarn, pom poms, sticks, pine cones, toilet paper tubes, cloth sewn and stuffed, egg cartons, crochet or knitted, wood scraps, etc.


“The plan is to use what you have, don’t go to the store and get things to build with,” her post said. “Look in your shed, garage, yard, recycle bin, craft closet! What can you find to build with?”


Students were to make the heart at least 12 inches so it could be seen from the street.


“This idea is 100% from my brain,” Groom said. “I teach ceramics and was trying to come up with a 3D project that those students could do without clay. Somewhere on the internet a saw a photo of a 3D heart on a stake in front of a booth at a craft fair.


“Hearts, although kitsch, are relatable to everyone. I thought it would be great to share with the community for May Day. There is so much art being shared worldwide during our quarantine, I thought it would be great for our community to join in.”