The creativity and resilience of our teacher partners and their students never cease to amaze us.  

Take Ms. Washington’s 4th-grade class. After discussions of such topics as immigration and the care and concern for animals, the students decided to focus their project on staying connected with loved ones who are far away. Many of the students are new immigrants to the United States and are missing loved ones still in their countries of origin. 

During their study, they read articles about loneliness and the effects of the pandemic, researched ways of keeping family traditions alive, and read books about children moving to America.  

We called upon our friends and longtime community partners, Mending Spirit and Artwell, to help the class create a project around this creative topic. Poet Cathy Cohen from Artwell visited the class via Zoom to help them create beautiful poems to share with their loved ones. D’vorah Horn- Greenberg, the executive director of Mending Spirit, donated journals, markers, stickers, and mailing envelopes for each student to create a correspondence journal, with their poem inside, to send to the loved one they miss. 

Ms. Washington says, “This project was a result of centering student voice and they saw that missing their family members was an issue that was very important to them.” 

What a beautiful way to honor the voices of students and to keep them close to family members who are far away.