Students at Kennard Elementary School Challenged to Express Gratitude

By: Ashley Winterstein

The entire student body of Kennard Elementary School was given a challenge this year by their Enrichment Specialist, Lee Franklin. She reminded students that the holidays are an excellent time to give thanks for all the good things in their lives and the people who make these good things possible. With this in mind, she asked the students to write a letter to someone they appreciate.

The letter was to include how the person helps them, why they are grateful, how the person makes them feel, and how they feel about the person. A drawn picture could also be included with the letter.

All the letters were collected and given a cover letter provided by Franklin. They were then redistributed to the students to be delivered to their intended recipients.

One of the participating students composed a heartfelt letter to her parents. “You both are awesome and care so much for me and love me so, so much. I think you guys should be voted for best parents of the year,” wrote third-grader Kylee Mills-Cradlin in a portion of her letter.

Kathleen Donovan, a fourth grader at Kennard Elementary School took a different approach and chose to write a poem to thank her mother for everything she has done. Donovan wrote,
“I am thankful for my Mom.
She is sweet and caring too.
I love her with all my might.
Oh my sweet and caring mom, I love you.”

This challenge was a fantastic reminder for students to express their gratitude to those who have helped them and reinforced the Character Counts! December Pillar of Caring. Expressing gratitude is one of the characteristics of a caring individual and character coaches are encouraging their student to practice this throughout the year. Author G.B. Stern said it best when she said, “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.”

The Character Counts! Advisory Council would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire community for their support in spreading good character in 2009. We hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday and we look forward to a successful 2010!

If you have any questions or would like more information about the Character Counts! program, please contact Jacki Carter at 410-758-6677 or