Huntington High School has some of the most caring students anywhere. They rally to any good cause and love their community. More than 100 art students recently created spectacular items and donated them to the Tri-CYA and Family Service League’s Project TOY initiative.
Project TOY (Treasures Our Youth) gives parents of struggling families an opportunity to choose two new unwrapped gifts for their children. The annual holiday boutique at the Tri-CYA facility is a time of utter joy for parents, who are excited to be able to provide their children with toys that they otherwise couldn’t afford.
Ms. Valerio earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Parsons School of Design and a Master of Science degree in art education Long Island University-C.W. Post College. After completing her student teaching requirements in Huntington, she began working as a substitute teacher in the district prior to moving onto the faculty full-time.
An amazing group of 109 Huntington High School student-artists created gorgeous pieces for Project TOY. “This is a rewarding experience for my students,” Ms. Valerio said. “I am very proud of their accomplishments and their participation in this annual event.”
Hired to work part-time in 2010, Ms. Valerio was elevated to full-time status in 2015. She has worked in all eight buildings in the district in some capacity and because of this she’s known many of her high school students since they were in elementary and middle school.
The Huntington teenage artists toiled for weeks to create the attractive pieces. “Donating to Project TOY has become a holiday tradition in my art classes,” Ms. Valerio said. “My students have been producing and donating their creations to the Tri-CYA’s Project TOY every year since 2010. Again this year, the students in my various art classes worked diligently to produce ornaments, stockings and pillows for Project TOY.”
Ms. Valerio enjoys discussing her students and their sensational artistic abilities. “Students in my two Fashion I classes hand-sewed and embellished mini felt holiday stockings,” she said. “They inserted candy canes into each stocking and some students wrote and added holiday messages for the recipients. Students in my two Creative Crafts classes created ceramic ornaments that were fired and glazed, then decorated with paint, glitter, ribbons, sequins, and felt. Students in my Fashion II, III, and Fashion Portfolio class made adorable stuffed animal pillows that they designed and sewed.”
The holidays will be brighter for many children in the community thanks to Huntington High School’s art students.