It is so easy to get lost in all that has been supposedly lost as a result of the global reaction to the spread of COVID-19. What is harder to do, is to shift our perspective and focus on what has been found. Finding the time to do good has been yet another unintended positive outcome of Emergency Remote Teaching for our staff and wonderful students.
Over the past few weeks, a number of our classes have been reaching out to others in an attempt to bring smiles to the faces of individuals that they’ve never met, and yet they had anticipated they needed some cheering up.
Many of our K1/K2 students took the time to decorate stones with positive messages, colourful pictures and lots of happy faces. They wanted to show their love and appreciation for the doctors and nurses at London Health Sciences Center. As students finished their creations, they safely brought them to a drop off location at the school. Once two large boxes were filled, two of our Kindergarten team members delivered them and placed them strategically in gardens so that they brightened up the days for those health care workers. We have many families in our school community who have one or two parents who are currently sacrificing time with their family in order to take care of patients at the hospital. This was our little way of saying, “Thank You”.
Our grade seven students also took this opportunity to do good and to reach out to residents in a couple of Long Term Care Facilities. They wrote letters that were filled with heartfelt gratitude, expressions of hope and sprinkled with that undeniable, effervescent grade 7 humour. According to our grade seven team of educators, it was the one writing activity that garnered the greatest participation ~ both in quality, quantity and genuine generosity of spirit.
Sending the letters was a perfect example of “doing good, feels good”. But this narrative does not end with the sending of the letters, as many of the residents then took the time to write back to the students, sharing their gratitude in receiving the letters, communicating how they are spending their days and even forwarding small tokens of appreciation.
In the words of one of the Facility staff members, “Today, I went around to every room with four physios, and we read your letters out loud… As hard as everything is for them – the tears and the faces and the joy that those students gave to those seniors, and the beauty of those letters and how well-written they were – it was absolutely the best gift you could give these seniors. I’m going to save the letters and keep sharing these stories of love. In these times it’s exactly what they need. These kids!!! I wish I could meet them someday… On behalf of all of us at Elmwood place, thank you so much.”
We are so excited to be able to safely share these letters with our students, once they arrive in the mail. We can’t wait to hear their reactions. Who knows, this may be the beginning of a wonderful letter writing friendship. There is so much that both generations can learn from each other.
This week in Thames Valley we are focusing on #CaringChampions. I’m so proud of both our staff and our students for seeing the potential in our current situations and reaching out to be #CaringChampions in our community.
I would love to hear about more examples of “doing good feels good”
Come write with me….