Mitchell kindergarteners send gifts to young Hurricane Sandy victims

Mitchell kindergarteners with their stories and worry dolls
Kindergarteners in Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Koutoulas’ class hold the stories and worry dolls they were sending to a kindergarten class in Brooklyn, New York that was affected by Hurricane Sandy this past fall. The photo was taken during the school’s Pajama Day.

By Tara Cavanaugh 

After a superstorm ripped through the East Coast in October, people from all over the country sent their support in the form of money, care packages and supplies.Two kindergarten classes at Mitchell also sent their support to kindergarteners at Achievement First Endeavor Elementary in Brooklyn.

The classes decided they wanted to help the kids feel better, because they must have felt very scared during and after the hurricane and storm. So they first made worry dolls.

“They can put them under their pillow at night, and tell them all of their worries,” explained Grace, a student in Patty Koutoulas’ class.

Worry dolls
The classes wanted to help the children affected by Hurricane Sandy to feel better. Each student sent a worry doll, which kindergarteners in Brooklyn can tell their worries to.

The Brooklyn kindergarteners can also read the stories to learn how the Mitchell students coped in scary situations.

Julian sent a story about the time he was scared to go on an airplane. His mom brought him his favorite treat, gummy bears, so he felt better. In Ethan’s story, he realized that distracting himself with his toys was a good way to feel better when there was a tornado outside. And Shawn just told himself to be brave when he felt scared –– and it worked.

Story: "How To Be Not Scard" (sic)
The Mitchell kindergarteners also sent their own stories about overcoming fear.

Through the three-week project, “we realized we’ve all felt scared before,” said  Koutoulas. “We also realized we had many ways to feel better,” said Lisa Thompson. “Some of you cuddled up with a family member, some of you distracted yourself with toys and forgot to be scared, some of you ate candy or a food you liked.”

Writing the stories was part of a writing program Mitchell created with the University of Michigan. Mitchell, Scarlett Middle School and U-M are joined together in a teaching and learning collaborative partnership. The writing program is focused on creating authentic writing and reading activities for kindergarteners and first graders. Mitchell teachers and U-M researchers designed writing units that focus on dramatic, narrative, persuasive and research writing.

“I can honestly say that I have never seen kids so committed to their writing for so long as our kids have been with this project,” said Thompson. “We really listened to them and let them guide the project.”

Related stories

The AAPS District News welcomes thoughtful comments, questions and feedback.

All comments will be screened and moderated.

In order for your comment to be approved:

  • You must use your full name
  • You must not use  profane or offensive language
  • Your comment must be on topic and relevant to the story

Please note: any comment that appears to be spam or attacks an individual will not be approved.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Learning centers meet kindergarteners’ individual learning needs |
  2. Mitchell mini-movies debut on the silver screen |
  3. Mitchell Kindergartners’ Kindness Highlighted in AAPS News | Mitchell-Scarlett Partnership

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.