Hawthorne Elementary School

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Thanksgiving Thoughts on The Importance of Kindness

"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times..." - so wrote Charles Dickens in 1859 in A Tale of Two Cities. This might well describe the overall sentiment in America today, divided as we are over the results of the November 8 election.

There is general agreement, however, that none of us has seen a presidential contest quite like 2016 and that is certainly true for our students. Lacking the maturity which longevity provides, they are, perhaps, more easily influenced by political winds. Nationally, reports indicate that it is our young people, high school and college aged, who feel the most angst over the future and are responding according to those feelings.

In Elmhurst District 205, we are working to address those concerns, while supporting the well-being of all students. At York High School, a kindness campaign (see #kindnessmatters on Twitter) was launched just days after the election, urging students to, above all, be kind and commit random acts of kindness. Many individuals and student groups have been working on creative ways to “pay it forward.” This Friday, students and staff wore purple, the color that comes from mixing red and blue (think Republicans and Democrats), as a symbol of coming together and putting political differences aside.

Our schools have strong and award-winning PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Support) programs, which well-serve students in both good times and less than optimal situations. All of our schools are consistently committed to valuing diversity, acceptance and respect.

Please know that we are aware there are parent and student concerns and are working to address any and all. If know of a specific situation that needs attention, please contact your child's principal.

On a happy note, there is a grassroots effort called LOVE LIVES HERE, which will sponsor a community candlelight peace vigil, tentatively set for Tuesday, December 6 at 7 PM in Wilder Park. Organizers are Susan Warren, Lisa O'Halloran and other concerned parents and citizens. Stay tuned for complete details. This is truly a time for us to come together, celebrate our differences, and recognize that we are all members of one community, one country and one world.


Posted by: Melea Smith, District Admin, Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Published:11/21/16
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