rbr cards hospitalized children 1PHOTO:  RBR students creating cards for hospitalized children for the holidays include:  (left to right) Gabriella Raad, Little Silver; Monica Alvarado, Red Bank; Alexandra Hamm, Red Bank; Claudia Kelly, Little Silver; Macy Narang, Little Silver.

LITTLE SILVER, NJ - Over two days in early December, students work through their lunch periods and join their fellow classmates in creating festive cards filled with inspirational messages for children going through very painful and lonely times in their young lives.

“I always tell the students that this is something simple you can do as teenagers to make a difference in a child’s life during the holidays,” states RBR teacher Jennifer Casaine.

rbr cards hospitalized children 2PHOTO:  Junior Makai Mickens, Red Bank, is pictured with RBR Teacher Jennifer Casaine, a supervisor of the annual Cards for Hospitalized Kids program. Participating in this national program, high school students create personalized cards distributed to children in hospitals during the holidays.

Mrs. Casaine and Ms. Cassandra Dorn, who host the event, collect the materials for the project from the greater RBR community. They are especially looking for donations of old Christmas cards, ribbons and other arts and crafts. This year, its popularity has moved the program from the traditional large classroom to the entire media center.

rbr cards hospitalized children 3PHOTO:  Some of the RBR students who participated in the Cards for Hospitalized Kids holiday program are (left to right); Sara Senkeleski, Red Bank; Megan LeFever, Red Bank; Maggie Curtis, Shrewsbury; Sarah Ferraro, Shrewsbury; Emma Moriarty, Shrewsbury; Lleyke Dunnican, Bradely Beach; Avery Davis, Little Silver; Cate Cione, Little Silver.

Mrs. Casaine explains, “It is really an inspirational program started by a teenager who, due to a chronic, serious illness, has endured much time in a hospital.  Personally created cards from strangers gave her such comfort that she decided to start this program. It has since gone worldwide reaching over 100,000 kids in 50 states and several countries. We are very happy to be part of this program and I hope to expand it next year to the middle schools.”

For more information on the Cards for Hospitalized Program visit the website: http://www.cardsforhospitalizedkids.com/.