“Art for the Heart,” Friend, June 2012, 4–5
“Mrs. Ramirez, who is that?” Sydney asked, pointing to a girl sitting at a desk. She had never seen this girl in their class.
Mrs. Ramirez smiled. “That’s our new student, Yulia. Yulia just moved here from Ukraine. We’re excited she’s here.”
Sydney looked at Yulia. She looked scared. Sydney knew she would be afraid if she moved to a new country. That would be hard!
Sydney went and sat next to Yulia. Smiling, she said, “Hi. My name is Sydney.”
Yulia timidly smiled back but didn’t say anything. Sydney tried to talk to her, but Yulia just shook her head.
“She doesn’t speak English,” Sydney thought. “She needs help!”
Throughout the day Sydney was Yulia’s buddy. She showed Yulia around the school and helped her with classwork.
At lunch, Sydney asked Yulia, “Do you want to play with me?” She pointed to the playground to help Yulia understand. Yulia smiled and nodded. They played together for all of lunch recess.
Sydney began teaching Yulia lots of English words. She wanted to help Yulia feel more comfortable talking to people. Sometimes it was hard to understand each other, but the two girls soon became good friends.
In class a few weeks later, the girls were drawing a picture together. Sydney drew flowers and insects while Yulia drew grass and trees.
“We made a beautiful garden!” Sydney said when they finished.
Yulia smiled. “Yes, it is pretty. I like to draw.”
Mrs. Ramirez came over to their desks. “What a beautiful picture! I’m glad you two are working together.” She took their drawing and taped it on the class bulletin board. The girls smiled proudly.
One day when Sydney got home from school, her mom said, “Mrs. Ramirez called. She wanted to let you know that Yulia is in the hospital. She is having surgery on her heart tomorrow. She’ll be in the hospital for a while to recover.”
Sydney thought about Yulia the next day during school. She looked at their drawing on the bulletin board. That gave her an idea.
After school, Sydney told her mom, “I want to take Yulia something to cheer her up after her surgery. She liked drawing in class. Maybe we can take her some art supplies.”
“That’s a great idea!” Mom said.
Sydney and her mom bought a drawing pad and some bright crayons. Sydney couldn’t wait to give them to Yulia. A few days later, Sydney and Mom went to the hospital. They found Yulia’s room and knocked on the door.
Yulia’s mom opened it and smiled. “Please come in. Yulia is resting.”
Yulia turned as they entered the room. Her face was pale, and she looked tired. “Hi, Sydney.”
Sydney pulled out the drawing pad and crayons. She shyly set them on the bed next to Yulia. “I thought these might help you feel better.”
Yulia’s eyes lit up. She reached for the crayons. “Thank you! I really like to draw. Can we draw right now?”
Sydney pulled a chair over to the side of the bed. The two girls laughed and talked together while they colored. Sydney was glad they had come to visit Yulia. When she and her mom left the hospital, Sydney had a warm feeling in her heart. She was glad she had helped make her friend happy.