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Third Graders Give Thanks, Share Compassion During COVID-19 Isolation

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Murphys, CA — Struggling with everyday life and schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic, two local teachers say their students had a learning moment worth sharing about gratitude and compassion.

Michelson Elementary School third grade classroom teacher Laura Oliver and student teacher Lindsey Titus reached out to Clarke Broadcasting about a recent class experience during an online Google Classroom project, acknowledging that the transition to remote learning just over a month ago has been hard on their students.

The biggest challenge they confide, is that the kids miss not seeing their friends and the hands on, discussion-based classroom learning that are used to, so that daily Google Meets and weekly Friday online group activities have helped ease some of the associated social sadness.

Last Friday, while drawing pictures of health workers and making thank you cards, the teachers recounted how drawing together, enjoying the normalcy of it, and casually chatting, some of the students talked about their parents who are nurses or x-ray technicians or home health care workers. Others talked about how hard the health care people are working, why everybody is staying home and how it is helping.

At that point, the kids decided they wanted to really let the health care workers all know how much they appreciated everything they were doing, and to make sure they thanked everyone that was a health care worker, not just the doctors and nurses in hospitals, but also the workers in clinics and homes and pharmacies and all.

“They didn’t think they could make enough cards and they were worried we would miss someone who’s been working super hard,” Oliver recounts.

Tapping Help Needed To Spread ‘Thanks’  

“During our brainstorm, the kids asked if we could send their thank you notes and drawings to the local [media] so they could really get the word out. So, here  we are, sending you this collage of their artwork and a collection of their thank you notes. Normally, we would not self promote something we were doing in the classroom, but this felt so heartwarming and beautiful, it feels worth sharing.”

She adds, some of the students have felt lonely and isolated during the shelter in place, and this activity made them feel connected to the outside world — and realize their part in helping have a healthy community.

Describing what came out of the project as a beautiful experience, Oliver continues, “It gave them the chance to put into words their gratitude at being kept safe by others. That Friday morning also let them chat with each other about their feelings, worries, and pride in their family members and friends out there in the trenches…so, on behalf of our students, we would like to celebrate and thank ALL of the health care workers…for all of your hard work and dedication.”

To view the collage of student drawings, click in the image box.

Although tv host John Cena’s show might help us figure out if we are indeed “smarter than a fifth grader,” this reporter sure hopes these notes in this moment might spark more of us during our days of COVID-19 related sheltering in place struggles to feel as sincerely thankful and compassionate as this bunch of third graders for all our health care and other essential workers on the front lines.

The students’ messages follow here…

“We are making their job easier by staying home and not getting sick. They are helping us by taking care of sick people. Also they are keeping us healthy. Also if we have a problem with something on our body they help us figure it out.” — Anthony Aitken

“Thank you for everything you do to help take care of us.I can’t say this enough but thank you. We are doing our part by staying home while you are doing yours.” — Randy Aitken

“Dear health care workers, thank you for taking care of us. I am helping by staying healthy and keeping my distance from others. I am grateful that you are still working and helping others that are sick to get better. You are all awesome! ” Sincerely, Darby Bottomley
“Thank you for helping millions of people and saving their lives. You are the best health care workers.” — Morgan Brodie

“Dear Healthcare Workers, thank you for being a doctor. You go to work everyday to help people who are sick. You are around people who could get you sick too but you still help them. We are helping you by staying home. Thanks for taking care of everybody. Thank you.” — Colton Kane

“Thank you for helping people get better. I know you still don’t have the cure for the coronavirus but you have done so much for people in the world. Thank you for your hard work and we will all support you for your hard work and thank you for helping people as much as you can.” — Alison Leon Perete

“Thank you for taking care of us. We are safe because of them. We are healthy because of you. I am thankful for you.” — Aaliyah Miles

“Dear Healthcare workers, thank you for helping everybody through these times. I am saying thank you because you are helping a lot of people through these rough times. We are trying to help you by social distancing and wearing masks when we go out in public.” — Josie Rael

“Dear Health Care Workers, If I spoke to you I would say, “Thank you health care workers”! It is important for us to say thank you to you because you are saving lives. We are grateful for your help and saving us and for you doctors to be here. We are making your job easier by washing our hands and staying home.” — Olivia Schuler

“Dear to all health medical workers. I’m really happy that you guys really do try your best and to save people. I’m very grateful  to have you guys because you help everyone, and I hope you always try your best at everything. We are helping by making your job easier by staying at home and trying to help everyone. I wish you  all of you stay safe and good luck with everything.” — Elizabeth Herrera-Solis

“To health care workers, thank you health workers and all the other workers for the coronavirus. It is a really hard time my dad is in the hospital but luckily he does not have the coronavirus he just got diabetes. Take care of all those people out there with the coronavirus. Thank you so much.” — Sofia Vargas

“Thank you for helping all the sick people so they feel better. I hope the coronavirus stops so I can see my friends. I am appreciative that you are helping the people. I hope you don’t get sick.” — Logan Betts

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