“Thank you.” Those are the most fundamental words, next to “please”, that shape children’s character. It is far more than manners; saying the words is one thing, doing the words is another.
My class is thanking Sergeant Curran, stationed in Afghanistan. We’re doing it the good, old fashioned way; writing letters and drawing pictures. We are Pen-Pals!
For children, expressing their thoughts in words and drawings is age appropriate and very genuine. That is exactly what we did for Curran. After we wrote and decorated our big letter, we drew him individual pictures.
Children need to learn that kindness and thanks matter. They need to learn about the big, wide world. They need to learn about other people. Curran is our Pen-Pal in the big, wide world. When he was a little boy, his favorite book was Mr. Gumpy’s Outing, by John Burningham. We love that book! Curran’s dad came to school and read-aloud this book to the children.
This made Curran ‘come alive’ for the children. Suddenly he was one of us. Then, when we went to our big book atlas to find Afghanistan, it mattered. Because Curran was there. He is our Pen-Pal.
Saying “thank you” by doing acts of goodness makes children feel good. They care, and want to do something. By doing they are learning the most important things in life.
We will bake up a storm, then have a bake sale at school. We’ll take the money we raise, walk to CVS, and let the children buy whatever they think Curran will want or need. That will be a great care package!