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Liberty High School students decorated Centertown Park for this past Christmas, and now a different group from the high school has decked the space out for Valentine’s Day.
According to Leslie Padgett, the high school’s art teacher, Cindy Key, a special education teacher, came to her and noted the good community response to the Christmas decorations. She asked if the special education students could do something in collaboration with the art department.
Padgett and Key organized the effort, with the special education teens painting the large hearts that were set up. Padgett called Dan Plattus, from Bedford Main Street, and was able to provide gift cards from a number of Centertown merchants.
After decorating the park, the teens visited a number of Centertown businesses. Plattus said that many of the merchants showed their support by giving away items or creating a special promotion for the students.
These items included hot chocolate and brownies from Ivy Bridge Cafe, flowers from GloLyn Flowers, candy from the Art of Virginia, school supplies from Rapid Printing, fresh fruit from Gross’ Orchard and the Bedford Country Store, paint from Bedford Hardware, carrying bags from Wells Fargo, cookies and treats from Cup A Joe Cafe, hand lotion and beauty related items from Back Stage Salon (formerly Hair Then and Now) and some promotional items from Citizens Bank.
This also provided lessons for the students.
Padgett said that this included teaching about community involvement and an economics lesson, including banking. The teens got a map showing the locations of the participating businesses and Padgett said this allowed them to work in map skills. They also got a chance to practice changing money.
“That’s what we need,” Padgett said, pointing to the event as an example of the community pulling together.
“It’s just real important to me to have this with the children,” she added.