LVI fifth-graders used their creativity and artistic talent to create headbands to honor children battling cancer. The children painted their unique, colorful designs on strips of paper that were later transferred to the headbands. Not only did each child receive their design on their own headband, but each design was also placed on a headband to be given to a child in the hospital.

The activity was run through Healing Headbands, a non-profit company in Sea Cliff. The organization strives to provide laughter and hope to children with cancer and to those in the community supporting those children. Joanie Accolade and Barbara Grapstein, co-founders of Healing Headbands, start their program with a laughter exercise. This creates a positive atmosphere prior to the start of the art project.

“Our mission is to help those with illnesses feel better,” said Grapstein.  She added that empowering community members to provide support, in turn, makes them feel better as well.

The event began with simple exercises that forced the children to laugh from deep within their bellies and releasing their stress and inhibitions. This was followed by the artwork, where the LVI students used vivid colors and powerful designs to create the soft headbands that are comfortable to wear even for those who have lost their hair.


Fifth-grade teacher Katherine Smith said the activity corresponds well with the curriculum, which includes learning about human values and caring for others. It was also an important lesson as one the fifth graders was recently diagnosed with cancer and this activity helped to support her and allowed her classmates to express their feelings.