Creative Paper Connections at Carmel High School

Spreading love, one paper flower at a time.

Earlier this month, a collaborative project between the Carmel High School Library and the Art Department in time for Valentine’s Day provided a creative outlet for making connections and showing compassion. 

Students and staff pose with paper flowers

On Valentine's Day, students and staff were invited to visit the school library during a free period or lunch break to make a paper flower for someone they love – or to keep for themselves. Materials and instructions of varying skill levels were spread out at different stations throughout the library for attendees to make peonies, roses, daisies, tulips and lilies.

During one period, Karissa O’Reilly, library media specialist, also hosted a flower-making workshop for students in the PACE (Personal, Academic & Community Experience) program. Together, the class made tissue paper peonies and then chose a special Valentine’s Day-themed book for O-Reilly to read to them. 

Students and staff alike highlighted their creativity and put some unique touches on their paper creations. One student made roses for her significant other using paper copies of the Constitution and The Star-Spangled Banner because he is a U.S. history buff. Another student created an interesting floral bracelet for her mother. 

Meghan Cabral, the district’s director of music, stopped by with sheet music of a song she loves and created some amazing roses which are now displayed on her desk.

"Part of a librarian's role is to build community. For me, fostering connections is at the root of why we promote literacy. Reading brings us closer to understanding other people,” said O’Reilly. “While books are a way to give our students access to other worlds outside of their community, events like this give them access to other worlds inside their community.”

During the workshop, students and adults who might otherwise not have the chance to interact connected with each other. 

“I watched students help kids they had never met before. I heard them having conversations with students who are not in their social circle. It was wonderful to see those connections happening.”