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Rosemont says, 'Thanks'

Student leaders organize a schoolwide day of gratitude


by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Seventh-grader Syndey Steinberg writes a letter to soldiers serving overseas. At this time of year, many young people are writing lists and dreaming about the things they would like to receive as gifts. The students at Rosemont Ridge Middle School tackled a different kind of writing project and focused on various ways to give when the entire school focused on service, commitment and giving last week.

“Our vision statement is: ‘Building students of character committed to community and rigorous academic learning,’” Rosemont Principal Debi Briggs-Crispin said. “We included academic learning, character development and commitment to community in our vision statement because we believe developing all three of these areas will lead to the development of healthy, successful and contributing young men and women.”

Students at all grade levels participated in a service-oriented lesson, such as researching Heifer International, making fleece scarves for homeless students or writing thank you letters for food pantry donors. Each student also wrote a letter of thanks to a member of the armed forces serving overseas.

Tya Seth, Alyssa Betts and Griffin Bell are all eighth-graders and members of the school’s student leadership group, ALG (Achieve, Lead, Give).

ALG selected two charitable organizations to receive special support from the Rosemont community over the course of the school year — Children’s Cancer Association and Operation Smile, an organization that provides surgery to children born with cleft lips and cleft palates.

“We decided to support CCA because time is valuable,” Tya said. “They provide joy — events, music and things to help people with cancer.”

“This early release day is centered around gratitude,” Alyssa said. “The focus is on giving back and being grateful.”

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Ben Finestein writes a letter in his seventh-grade classroom at Rosemont Dec. 11The school’s letter-writing efforts were coordinated with two organizations, Operation Gratitude (operationgratitude.com) and A Million Thanks (amillionthanks.org).

Eighth-graders in Anne Voegtlin’s class were writing letters destined for the hands of soldiers in Afghanistan, according to eighth-grader Ryann Winkler. Voegtlin talked with the students about expressing gratitude for the soldiers’ service, but students were free to add their own sentiments.

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Emma Rickett writes an encouraging letter to a young child with a life-threatening illness.“I’m relating how he or she is away from family,” Ryann said. “I know how hard it is to be away from family at the holidays. ... It can be hard because they don’t have the comfort of family. But they do have the comfort of friends.”

“They’re fighting for the freedom and safety of our country,” Alyssa said. “They’re grateful that we’re thinking of them.”

“We have a great school,” Alyssa said.

“You can see it in everybody’s actions. Everybody is being nice to each other,” Griffin said. “I think people need to be reminded. It’s good to have a reminder.”




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