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Students Show Empathy During December

Love Elementary School fourth grader, Aaliyah Rivera, with the letter she wrote to a Heritage Village resident. Love students helped to show that they cared by creating cards especially for elderly residents in the community.

Love Elementary School emphasizes a different character-building word each month and teaches and reinforces that trait in a number of ways. When “empathy” became the word for December, Love students helped to show that they cared by creating cards especially for elderly residents in the community, many who have had a difficult time connecting with family and friends during COVID-19.

“Residents love the Christmas season because the community comes in with programs to convey the Christmas spirit of caring,” said Love Elementary School paraprofessional, Karen Soderberg. “Without that this year, coupled with visitation limitations due to COVID, we wanted the residents to feel like they weren’t forgotten. Typically, visiting children bring a smile, but the cards made by Love students accomplished that this year. The students were able to feel the joy of giving and empathy in a hands-on way.”

With the help of paraprofessional Tina Michos, students from almost all grade levels put their heart into making cards for the residents of Heritage Village in Gerry. Some made a card with a personal message inside. One recipient of this card was so touched with the card that a student made for her that she had it with her all afternoon and evening. She insisted that it be put in a safe place in her room. Another resident received a personal note on her card that said she was “amazing” and the student hoped she had a “lovely” Christmas. It brought a much-needed smile to her face.

Each of the approximately 120 residents received a card. Many of the cards were one-sided with colorful stickers and the students’ names and ages on the front or back. Some ended up on bulletin boards in the residents’ rooms. On the East Wing, every resident had a card on his or her door, and some had an extra in their room. Residents commented that they were touched that somebody who didn’t know them would take the time to care. They thought the cards were “great” and wanted to be sure that the students at Love School were thanked.

At a time when visiting people can be difficult, Love students showed empathy in a way that was very much appreciated, earning an A-plus.

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