A Package From the White House!

My class loves singing, and this year “God Bless America” has been a favorite song.  How do I know?  Children sing it from the loft in the classroom, and when using the bathroom.  They sing it while building with toys, playing on the playground, and at lunch.  When something becomes a passion for children, I do something more to bring that passion to life.

A relative of one of my students is the Coast Guard Liason to the White House.  Yes, I was the brave one; I emailed her to tell her how children love the song.  I asked if we could send her a video of the children singing, as a Memorial Day Remembrance for the White House.

She was thrilled!  So, we got to work to practice and videotape the performance.  It is fabulous!  Off the video went to the White House, and a few weeks later we had mail!

We received a package from the White House!  Our “God Bless America” video was well received.  Each child was given two packages of candy, signed by the President.  That was very exciting.  The letter reads:

Dear Aqua Room,
It was such a wonderful surprise to see the video of you singing patriotic songs for Memorial Day!  You sounded fantastic and it made me so proud see you commemorate Memorial Day.
I showed your video to lots of people in the White House and they loved it!!
Hazel’s favorite aunt

What an experience for children to sing their favorite song for the White House, and then receive a thank you letter and a gift.

In a separate email to me, she said, “Thanks for teaching the kids about Memorial Day and recognizing those that gave us everything we have today!”


P.S. I told her the story of making the God Bless America quilt years ago, and how it came to go to the Intrepid Museum and then hang at the Fisher House in Boston.  She knows Fisher Houses, and visited the one at Dover Air Force Base.  That must have been a humbling experience.

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in America, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Giving thanks, Inspiration, military, patriotism, quilting, School, Teaching young children and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to A Package From the White House!

  1. Norah says:

    How exciting, Jennie. I’m sure those chocolate packages will be treasured for years, long after the chocolate has been devoured. What a memory for the children and their families.

  2. Ritu says:

    What a wonderful piece of post!!

  3. Girlfriend, you are the kind of teacher we all wish we had, or wish we were! How wonderful for these little ones to see how people react to simple acts of kindness!

  4. beth says:

    that is amazing!!! yay for all of you –

  5. K.L. Hale says:

    What an inspiration!!! ❤️💙 🇺🇸

  6. beetleypete says:

    Great news for the kids, and for you. It was nice of them to send the signed gifts.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  7. Darlene says:

    How special! I love how you take every opportunity to make the children feel special.

  8. Fabulous result for all!

  9. That’s so exciting for the children! I hope they keep that song as favorite throughout their lives.

    • Jennie says:

      I hope so, too. So, here’s what happened today (the life of a teacher is always met with surprises) in the middle of playing with new playdough:

      When we sang songs and prepared for Memorial Day, one of the songs I played on our big screen was the Singing Sargents singing “God Bless the USA.” That was a while ago. Today a child came up to me in the middle of playdough and sang, “And I wont forget the man…” She knew the rest in her heart, so I sang the rest of the song with her. Other children joined in. How did they know all these words? We had a spontaneous serenade. It was wonderful, and nothing I could have planned.

  10. Thanks for sharing this, Jennie. 😁

  11. willedare says:

    Wow!!! The ways that you engage with your students and help them engage with the rest of the world is an ongoing inspiration to us all!!! I imagine that Irving Berlin, who emigrated to the lower east side of Manhattan with his family when he was a little older than your students (to escape anti-Semitic persecution in the Russian Empire) would be delighted — if he were still alive — to learn how much your students love his song…

    • Jennie says:

      Will, I love your comment! I often think about Irving Berlin and his childhood. In my heart, I know he would be very proud. Years ago, my students fell in love with singing “God Bless America.” They couldn’t get enough, staged themselves singing on the playground, so we invited soldiers into the classroom to sing “God Bless America”, then made our own God Bless America book, and of course made the quilt that hangs at the Fisher House. In a way, Irving Berlin might pump his fist in victory, because he disliked our National Anthem and wrote “God Bless America” as a better song. Irving, it was a better song. Thank you, Will!

  12. johnrieber says:

    When my wife went to the White House – both time she was given the M&M’s – so cool!

  13. bosssybabe says:

    Omg that’s so amazing! What a wonderful surprise! I feel like this teaches children to do good things without any expectation of anything in return! What a bonus!! 🙂

  14. Yet another Jennie adventure leading to candy from the President in the mail!

  15. This is awesome, Jennie. A great experience for children and adults alike!

  16. WOW! The children must have been over the moon when they received the package!!

  17. pastorpete51 says:

    Now that is a memory for a lifetime!

  18. Don Ostertag says:

    Oh, such wonderful event for the children, Jennie.

  19. Wow, what an accomplishment! The children are going to remember it forever!

  20. quiall says:

    What a wonderful experience for the children. Their White House responded to them. That’s pretty special.

  21. Lamont says:

    Oh that’s awesome, congrats to you and your class for the achievement. Keep that spirit.

  22. Dan Antion says:

    What a wonderful series of events, Jennie. The children are very lucky. They are learning that anything is possible.

  23. petespringerauthor says:

    I love how you just go for it, Jennie. I know it hasn’t always worked out, but look how many times these experiences have turned out unbelievingly well. It must do your heart good to hear the kids singing God Bless America passionately.

    • Jennie says:

      I know! Yes, my heart is full. I tell myself the worst thing that can happen is they’ll say ‘no’ or won’t say anything at all. And when they say ‘yes’, it turns into a wonderful experience. Yesterday at the playdough table a child started singing to herself, “And I won’t forget the man…” WELL, I put my arm around her and jumped right in singing. Then others came over, too. We sang that chorus over and over. We were loud and proud, I love those moments.

      Pete, If I had to pick one time that ‘going for it’ turned into the best experience ever (and over and over again) it was Milly the quilter. The summer after she died I wrote about my adventures with her. What started as a blog post turned into 10 parts. It’s my favorite read, too. Search for The Legacy of Milly and enjoy.

      BTW, the children want to give you our Starry Night painting. ❤️ When we take everything down in a few weeks, I’ll send it to you.

      • petespringerauthor says:

        That would be very special, Jennie. I’ve read many of your posts about Milly, and you light up when you’re talking about her. I often think of the people in my life who have passed but continue to influence me.

      • Jennie says:

        Milly was one in a million. We both have influential memories (did I say that correctly?), which is a wonderful thing. With age comes great experiences and memories. Best to you, Pete.

  24. Ally Bean says:

    This is exciting and fun and no doubt memorable for your students. Think of the lesson these kids will take with them, try something good and see where it goes.

  25. You managed to take something so simple as children singing a song and turn it into an event they can treasure forever. That’s big! Those kids are so blessed to have you and your creative mind. How exciting for them.

    • Jennie says:

      Marlene, you always hit the nail on the head. Yes, it was such a simple thing, but as soon as I knew it was big, I had to do more. Frankly, I think that should be Teaching-101. Many thanks!

  26. How absolutely wonderful!

  27. Thotaramani says:

    Being a teacher is a great job and especially sharing the beautiful view point of the children.👍🏻💐💐

  28. Hi Jennie, you really do think of the most amazing things to do with your children. Fantastic!

    • Jennie says:

      Honestly, it’s not me. It came naturally when I learned there was a relative in the White House. I pay attention and seize the moment. Thank you, Robbie.

  29. dgkaye says:

    You are a star Jennie. All the way to the Whitehouse! ❤

  30. Carla says:

    This is so awesome. I love how you do everything you can to highlight your children and their achievements. It is great that she took the time to respond to the kids. So special, Jennie.

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