Lincoln Powell 3, gives a basket of flowers to Aziz Zahraie Tuesday afternoon at the La Estancia Nursing Center. Powell, along with other children from the Cerritos Elementary Kids Care Club, have been creating tissue flowers and decorating flower pots for the La Estancia Nursing Center. May 2, 2012. Darryl Webb/AFN

Darryl Webb

Twenty students from Kyrene de los Cerritos visited La Estancia Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Wednesday to visit with patients and hand out hand-crafted flower bouquets.

The students, their parents and the Cerritos staff who joined participated in one of the last events of the year for the Cerritos Elementary Kids Care Club. The club, which has grown exponentially over the years, meets two times each week during the students’ lunch period to meet a philanthropic goal — helping others.

It ties directly into Cerritos as a Leadership Academy and the “7 Habits of Happy Kids.”

“I like seeing people with a smile on their face,” Vincent Schmidtke, 7, said.

On Wednesday, there were more smiles than usual in the La Estancia patient rooms and hallways. The kids eagerly looked for the next person they could hand a bouquet to, with 150 in all to hand out. They had worked on the project for the last two months.

“They are beautiful people,” patient Aziz Zahraie said. “Just wonderful kids.”

While it was the kids who crafted the flowers and handed them out, parents play a big role in organizing the six projects the Kids Care Club completed this year. A handful of them visited the school on their meeting days and helped the kids with whatever it was they were working on.

“The parents are very encouraging and they are a big part of this,” said Cerritos teacher Linda Wolf.

Previously this year, the club undertook projects like making bookmarks, Valentine’s Day garlands, and Goodnight Bags that were sent to the Kyrene Family Resource Center.

Their final project will be writing and mailing 35 letters to soldiers stationed overseas.

“We’re using the 7 Habits and making people happy,” Landen Powell, 8, said.

Wolf said that more than 600 kindergarten through fifth grade students participated on and off throughout the year in the Kids Care Club.

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