Teacher’s charity is an inspiration to all
The Nov. 21 article [“Clothing donations boost morale, reduce absenteeism at JMHS”] really shows the impact that can be made in a community when individuals seek deeper relationships with one another as they meet the needs of each other.
It stood out to me that the teacher who began this “giving tree” did so because she noticed that a particularly “prickly and hard to get to know” student had worn the same sweater despite a change in seasons and temperature.
Who knew that the teacher’s initial determination to meet the needs of a single student would lead others around her to begin to see how they could contribute?
I think that this is beautiful, because so many students’ futures may have been impacted forever just due to having clean clothes which allow them to be present in the classroom.
I was pleased to see the tremendous decrease in absenteeism: from 9.34 to 5.49 percent in a single year. More important was the improved morale which allowed students to go from existing in the classroom to truly being present in their learning environment in an engaged way due to their improved self-esteem. Beyond the increase in individual morale is the sense of community being built through continued student and teacher donations.
Here’s to Mrs. Clark and other teachers like her. I would like to see programs like this pop up in school systems across the nation as a result of these positive reductions in absenteeism.