Knowing you have support from people in the community is vital in helping children succeed in school and become citizens. For the second year Woodrow Wilson teacher Rianna Brown is hoping for the community to “adopt a 5th grader” as this year Brown and her sister and fellow fifth grade teacher Tiffany Coast are working to get the whole of the 5th graders sponsored.
“Last year was the first year that we did it. We started it with just one class and this year we are trying to expand it so all fifth graders get the same opportunity,” Brown said.
“What it is, is either a business, family or individual goes in to ‘adopt’ a student,” she said.
There are four things the sponsors do during the school year.
Starting in August with “Welcome to School” goodie baskets that will be on their desks at back to school night said Brown. The basket will be filled with a variety of items like candy, sodas, or a few school supplies.
“Just something sitting at their desk when we get here that shows them they have someone’s (support) for the year,” she said.
Next, in November Brown said they ask for Thanksgiving Food Baskets for the child’s family. She said last year some did a turkey/ ham and sides and some provided a gift card for the family so they could shop for themselves.
Brown said in December the students write a small wish list which gets sent along to the sponsors.
“On the last day that we are here in December … we invite the sponsors for a big party — we play games and then the sponsors get to watch the kids actually open the gifts,” she said. “Last year we wore our pajamas and tried to make it like Christmas morning.”
Then in May 2020, the sponsors help with the 5th grade graduation trip. Last year they went to Frontier City as sponsors got their tickets and a little spending money.
Brown said there was going to be around 35 to 40 students total for the whole 5th grade.
“The kids really enjoyed it, and all thoughout the year as we are working in writing… we learned learned how to write ‘thank you’ letters, we mailed to each sponsor,” she said. “It was just all around a learning experience from them getting to know an adult and learning how to speak to adults. They just really bonded with their sponsors last year.”
Those sponsors were not just in state either.
“One of the sponsors last year was from New york and she actually flew in and met the little girl and had lunch with her,” Brown said.