Showing appreciation


Crothersville Elementary School fifth-graders recently delivered baskets to the officers at the Crothersville Police Department.

We started with an amazing story, but the end is priceless.

Several weeks ago, we were working on summarizing and writing informational text.

One of my favorite ways to practice this is by reading newspaper and magazine articles.

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While searching for articles to use in my lesson plans, I discovered several that related to the controversial shootings involving police officers from this summer. We read an article about police officers being afraid to go to work each day and articles that expressed how officers are the first to respond and the first to be blamed.

After a week of reading and writing about police officers, my students decided that we should show our appreciation for the six local police officers who protect and serve our town.

As a teacher, I couldn’t have been more proud of them.

They decided what we would do for the officers and how we would raise the money to purchase items and contacted local business for donations.

As a class, they raised $100, which was used to purchase the baskets, popcorn, candy and other items for a movie night-themed gift basket. From there, we received donations from Family Video, Little Caesars and Balloons-n-Baskets Gift and Floral Shop.

Here’s where the story gets even sweeter.

On Oct. 6, we walked from Crothersville Elementary to the Crothersville Police Department. We delivered our baskets, asked the new police chief, Brent Turner, a few questions and sat in his police car.

Then we continued our walk to The Lunch Box, a delicious little restaurant down the road. We had pre-ordered and collected money to purchase milkshakes and drinks.

As I walked up to the counter, a kind, generous man named Danny Hardin asked how many students I had in my class. I responded with a laugh, assuming he thought I had to be crazy for bring 33 students on a trek across town.

Really, he wanted to buy all of our drinks. My heart melted at his generosity. I insisted that he let me use the money that the students brought in because our total was $89. No matter how much I argued, he insisted that he buy our milkshakes. I loved the example that he created for my students.

On our walk back to school, several of my students and I were talking. We gave gift baskets to police officers, which we didn’t have to do. In turn, someone did something wonderful for us, which he didn’t have to do. Give kindness. Receive kindness.

Now, we are trying to decide how we can use our $90, originally intended for shakes, to spread more kindness.

Amanda Wilp is a fifth-grade teacher at Crothersville Elementary School. Send comments to [email protected].

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