Dear Rev. JoAnn and Members of the Devon Aire Community Church,
This is a long overdue note to thank you for the school supplies that you donated to the students at Cooper Upper Elementary School early this fall. It’s also the perfect time to write to you, because it’s Thanksgiving, and I am so thankful for your very generous donation to our children and families, who have been helped by your school supplies in many more ways than ever before. When you read how your school supplies have been used, you will understand why the students, staff, and I have been so thankful for the school supplies that you donated every single day this fall.
This fall was the busiest start we have ever had to a school year, so when your school supplies arrived, instead of putting them away until needed as I usually do, the boxes were placed around the perimeter of my room waiting for a spare moment to put them away. However, when students came into my room, I began to notice that the boxes of school supplies helped them in so many unexpected ways. Organizing the school supplies became a temporary job for students who couldn’t go out to recess, or needed something to do because of recess-related anxiety. Lifting and sorting boxes of school supplies helped students who were upset or angry to calm down and refocus themselves. Helping with school supplies made students feel useful and built their self-esteem. The school supplies welcomed new students who moved into our school community, leaving behind friends, familiar places, sometimes family, and sometimes all of their school supplies, too. The school supplies made our students who couldn’t otherwise afford nice, new school supplies feel special and “not left out” and even cool. (There is nothing cooler than a mechanical pencil or earbuds!) There were enough school supplies so that students could choose their favorite colors and styles, which was fun for them to do, and enough supplies so that students could take some supplies to share with brothers and sisters attending other schools. The school supplies gave students who needed a chance to talk to me an excuse to come and see me. The binders and folders and pencil boxes and pencil pouches helped students with organizational challenges get organized. The spiral notebooks helped whole classes get started on lessons in a timely manner this fall, because teachers didn’t have to wait for the last few stragglers to bring in their spiral notebooks to start lessons; they could just come to my room and grab enough spiral notebooks so that everyone had a notebook and “no child was left behind!” Our teachers, who spend a gazillion dollars on school supplies for their students, really appreciated not having to buy as many supplies for their students. (Not to mention your gift cards for our teachers, who got such a lift from your remembering them.)
Well, the school supply boxes still have not been put away. Soon, most of the rest of the school supplies will become much appreciated Christmas presents for families in which money for Christmas presents is tight. And I think I just may leave any remaining school supplies in boxes around my room for the rest of the school year!
Thank you, from the students, families, and staff of Cooper Upper Elementary School for your kindness and generosity. May your Thanksgiving be filled with blessings!
Elementary Student Assistance Program Provider
Cooper Upper Elementary School