The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. I love the decorations, the music, and the time with family. This year, however, has been more stressful than normal making it difficult to be my happy, fun loving self. So, when I sat sown to write this article, I wasn’t sure what I was going to talk about that would put me and everyone else into the holiday spirit. To find some inspiration, I decided to look over my meetings from the last month and low and behold, I found two good ideas, one inspired by students and the other inspired by the community.
This year we have added a new program, taught by Mrs. Brodhagen, that allows us to stretch the learning of our high potential students. She is here two days a week focusing on the 3rd-5th grade students. I have been watching the progress of her groups and I was intrigued when she told me that her 5th grade group had a service project in mind and that they would like to talk about how they could implement it. Harmony Buchanan, Sagia Kubista, Macie Lindner, and Alayna Smith planned their “Spread Kindness” project with Mrs. Brodhagen and then the group presented their idea to me. They were concerned that people around them were not seeing enough examples of kindness, so they thought of many ways students and staff could show kindness to one another. They color coordinated the acts into different categories and put those ideas on colored hands that were displayed around the building. Then they asked staff members to watch for kinds acts and watched for those acts themselves too. Each morning for a week, they talked about the importance of kindness and the random acts that students were caught performing. It was a big hit and sparked a lot of conversation among the students. One of the biggest ideas that resonated with me when I talked to the girls was their passion about how kindness needs to come from the inside and that no prize or reward needs to be attached.
The other example that I found is the kindness of our community. Many generous donations have been made to the students in the Loyal School District again this year. A huge thank you goes out to Cummins Industries, the United Way, Loyal Car Show, Wal Mart, Jessica Zarnke and her mother, Tri County Retired Educators Association, and the Loyal Economic Development Corporation. All these people and organizations helped our students with school supplies, winter apparel, and nourishment. Thank you for all that you do for our children.
Wow, I did find the holiday happiness I was looking for, and it came from the hearts of four fifth grade girls, their teacher, and many community organizations. It is this feeling that I will take with me as I venture out to do holiday tasks in this very stressful world. I’ll try to be a little more patient as I wait in lines, thank a few more people for the work they do, and hug my family a little bit tighter. Thank you all for giving me this holiday gift. ??
Other activities have been happening in the building too. We were very excited to have an in-person Holiday concert again this year. Mr. Hanson and Mr. Ognenoff did a wonderful job with the Kindergarten – fifth grade students and so did Mrs. Schley and Mrs. Dillenbeck with the 4K students. All the elementary students will also have an activities day before leaving for the holiday break. The younger students will get a chance to bowl and the older students will be going tubing. Thank you to Mrs. Brussow for arranging these activities and thank you to all the other teachers for your help supervising during the activities so that the students have an enjoyable day. And finally, a HUGE thank you to everyone who works for the Loyal School District. We have had a challenging couple of years, but you have all kept the students needs in your hearts and that does make a difference.
My wish for everyone, is that you have a peaceful and joyous holiday season and I look forward to seeing the kiddos back in the new year.