This past Christmas season, West End Elementary students focused on giving gifts to others as well as the importance of kindness.
School Counselor Rachel Willms has been working with the students throughout the year during guidance lessons, teaching them about acts of kindness.
A paper chain was created and hung at the school for students to visualize how often kindness was being shown. When students did kind acts, a new chain link was added.
To continue the lesson of kindness, Rachel decided to help the students focus on giving during the Christmas season by helping out some of the school’s families.
Alvin Martin, the school’s social worker, provided Rachel with the names of six families that the students could give Christmas presents to.
The families were contacted and asked what their children would like as Christmas gifts. A list was made for a total of twenty-eight children.
The Christmas lists were then divided among the different grade levels at the school.
While Rachel knew kindness would come from this project, she never expected the wonderful response that students and families had.
Gifts came flooding into the school’s office including two bikes and other wrapped surprises. There were so many gifts, that the bikes could not be seen under the pile of presents.
“I am overwhelmed by the generosity,” Rachel said. “It made six families very happy.”
The twenty-eight children were able to enjoy a very special Christmas with gifts that they otherwise would not have received.
Rachel hopes to continue this act of kindness every year to continue to encourage a spirit of giving during Christmas.
“I would like to put a different spin on it every year,” she said.
West End Elementary would like to thank the many families and students that participated in this Christmas project.