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Preschoolers in Guelph help university students take the edge off exam stress (8 photos)

A team of little ones handed out 1,000 'cards of kindness' on campus

GUELPH — A wish of good luck and a show of support — no matter how small — can go a long way as University of Guelph students deal with the stress of upcoming exams.

That is the thinking behind the ‘cards of caring’ handed out this week by preschoolers at U of G’s Child Care and Learning Centre.

The work of decorating 1,000 of the ‘good luck’ cards began two weeks ago, said Valerie Trew, director of the centre.

The message, ‘Good luck in your final exams! Love from your friends at the Child Care and Learning Centre’ is printed on the front.

Preschoolers at the centre then decorated each card with crayons, expressing their support for the university students in their own way.

“It’s meaningful for the children,” said Trew.

The preschoolers began hand-delivering the cards to students on campus last week and will continue to do so until Friday.

Ashleigh Otto, a fourth year Animal Biology student, received a card Wednesday morning as a group of preschoolers made their way through the Athletics Centre on a delivery run.

Otto said she has five exams this semester, starting next week and receiving the card was a good distraction.

“It literally melts my heart, I can’t stop smiling,” she said.

Printed on the back of each card are various academic advice and support, counselling services, as well as mental health and wellness services available for the students to access.

The stress students feel during exams makes the cards and support information especially timely, said Trew.

The initiative began about a year and a half ago, said Trew, when it was developed by a practicum student working with children in the centre as a small group activity.

Trew said it was so well received the centre decided to expand on it.

The colouring helps preschoolers develop art skills and interacting with students is a valuable social skill for them.

The centre encourages preschoolers to engage in positive acts of kindness, said Trew.

“We talk about filling your bucket versus depleting someone else’s bucket,” she said.


Kenneth Armstrong

About the Author: Kenneth Armstrong

Kenneth Armstrong is a news reporter and photojournalist who regularly covers municipal government, business and politics and photographs events, sports and features.
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