Jaffray kindergarteners thank community helpers

The youngsters made puppets and wrote letters to thank essential workers

Mya Tracey wrote a letter to everyone that works in the hospital. Photo submitted

As part of a home learning project, Jennifer Anselmo, kindergarten teacher at Jaffray Elementary and Junior Secondary School, encouraged her students to write thoughtful thank you letters to community helpers.

Part of the kindergarten curriculum states that youngsters should learn about the people, places and events that contribute to the strength of local communities. While they typically learn about community helpers through field trips and other in person experiences, the pandemic required teachers to get creative. Seeing that her kindergartners, though young, felt the effects of cancellations of play dates, field trips, and graduation days, Anselmo wanted to create a project that contributed to her student’s sense of connectivity and education, while also thanking community helpers for keeping the Elk Valley safe.

“With the theme of superheroes on my mind, not only could I tie together our phonics lesson about super-e words, but I could also provide opportunities to learn about the real superheroes of our communities,” said Anselmo. “I wanted my kinders to know that there are some very extraordinary members of our local and expanded communities that have been working tirelessly trying to make their little worlds all better again.”

According to Anselmo, 10 of her 20 kindergartners participated in the optional assignment, studying a community helper of their choice by using an online library to listen to and read about community roles.

Students then made paper bag puppets to coincide with their selection, and wrote a letter of appreciation thanking them for their dedication throughout the pandemic. Though the letters were not given out to specific community members, the idea was to post them to social channels to extend the messages of thanks.

“Dear everyone that works in the hospital, thank you for helping the sick people and for going to work while I stayed safe at home,” read a letter written by youngster, Mya Tracey. “I hope COVID-19 goes away soon so I can give you a hug. Love Mya, flying hugs and kisses xo.”

Other letters thanked nurses, police officers, paramedics, and teachers.

“Dear doctors, thank you for keeping us healthy when the world is so sick,” read a letter written by a kindergartner named Lily Yadernuk.

On June 18, Anselmo also visited the homes of her incoming kindergartners to say hello and deliver them school supplies. Under normal circumstances, the school hosts a kindergarten orientation where incoming students are able to spend time in classrooms with their teachers, crafting, reading storybooks, and getting to ride the bus home. With COVID-19 regulations requiring alterations to the norm, Anselmo invited each of her 17 new students to meet her on the end of their driveways, where she gave them ‘kindergarten survival kits’. The kits included helium balloons, candy, school supplies, and a poem written by Anselmo and her daughter, Jayda.

“I wanted this year’s orientation theme to be all about Sea Turtles because even though they go out to sea, and swim in the great waters of life and experience, they always return back to the beach where they were born,”said Anselmo. “I wanted these new little ones to know that even though they might be a bit worried to leave home and join me in the big world of school, I promised them that the bus would always bring them back home to their family.”

Anselmo also hosted a Zoom class for her new students on June 19, where she gave them a tour of her classroom, made a sea turtle craft with them, and read One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies.

“After a phone conference with one of my kinders recently, I said to her at the close of our conversation, “Goodbye, I love you a million!” And she replied, “Oh, Mrs. Anselmo, I love you way more! I love you one hundred… and… eleven!” It was then that I knew 111 was a much bigger number than a million. These are the kind of things you can only learn in kindergarten,” said Anselmo.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Chloe Nilsson wrote her community helper letter to nurses. Photo submitted

Charlie Clarke thanked teachers in her letter. Photo Submitted

Marlee French and Grady Yuill receive their kindergarten welcome packages. Photo Submitted

This year’s welcome packages were sea turtle themed. Photo Submitted

Khylinn Blatz, Asher Anderson, Lily Yadernuk, Ruby Wentzell, Maverick Sandberg, Chloe Nilsson, Presley Mostyn, Jackson Wilson, Brooklyn Wolfe, Mya Tracey, Aleeah Ewasiuk, and Charlie Clarke participated in the community helpers project. Photo Submitted

Just Posted

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

Calvin Domin is running to raise awareness and funds for teen mental health resources. (Photo Contributed)
Locals run to fundraise for youth mental health

Proceeds go the the EKFH’s Not Alone campaign raising money to support the opening of the Foundary

Incumbent MLA Tom Shypitka is contesting Kootenay East for the BC Liberals. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Wilkinson would have been a great premier: Shypitka

Re-elected Kootenay East MLA responds to resignation of party leader

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

Tom Shypitka, pictured with his campaign team. on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. Trevor Crawley photo
Updated: Shypitka wins second term; BC NDP cruise to majority

“Election Days,” rather than “Election Day,” may be the more accurate term… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Most Read