Third-grade students at Whitesville Elementary School are learning about the value of demonstrating appreciation, compassion, and gifts from the heart.
This afternoon, in recognition of Valentine’s Day, the day of love, students put together craft packets for patients at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
It all started when their teacher, Destiny Clark, received a gift of $100 from a grandparent of one of her students, along with a note explaining that she appreciates how hard teachers work to guide and educate young children. The donor stated that she hoped the gift would support Clark’s work in the classroom.
“Needless to say, I was in tears,” Clark said. “This is a lot of money. What a blessing to our classroom!”
Clark then shared news about this gift with her students and invited them to share their ideas about how the money could be spent, offering four suggestions for their consideration. “I offered the option of having a special party to reward them for their hard work; we could buy some cool school supplies; we could purchase items for a new seating area in our classroom; or we could use this money to bless others as we had been blessed.”
“This story sheds light on how educators teach the whole child, not just the state mandated curriculum” – Whitesville Elementary third grade teacher, Destiny Clark
Clark said there was no hesitation in the children’s response: “My kids jumped on this idea of blessing others and were so eager to start planning,” she said. “After researching and discussing with our classroom parents, we came to the consensus of putting together ‘craft packs’ for children who are patients at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The idea is to stock a special cart and provide materials so children may complete a simple craft project while waiting for or undergoing treatment. My students talked about how they want to give kids their age something to smile about at such a tough time. Listening to what big hearts my kids have made my heart so full. I am so proud of these little guys for being superb people in such a crazy world.”
Clark said this experience transcends the walls of her classroom. “This story sheds light on how educators teach the whole child, not just the state mandated curriculum,” she explained. “Something that started out so small as trying to decide how to spend $100 has turned into a priceless life lesson for our kiddos.”