December 27, 2013

Citizens of the Week: Brookwood first-graders

The Daily Citizen

— It’s easy to remember military veterans around Veterans Day, but first-graders at Brookwood Elementary School this year took those thoughts a step further.

With some prompting and suggestions from teachers after the school’s Veterans Day activities, the entire first grade decided to convert the Christmas party they would usually have for themselves into an event in which they would honor veterans they knew. They held it shortly before Christmas break.

The children wrote out invitations to fathers, brothers, uncles, grandparents and friends. They made a shopping list of all the supplies they would need. Then, with several adults supervising small groups of about four, the students, armed with short grocery lists, took a field trip to Kroger and picked out what they needed.

How did they pay for it all?

“The kids did chores and collected money,” said Stephanie Hogshead, a Brookwood teacher who supplements regular classroom instruction with one-on-one attention for students who need extra help learning to read.

Once they had their food and party supplies, the students divided into groups with different responsibilities. Some baked cookies. Some made sandwiches. Others brought fruit. One group sang Christmas carols as their honored guests arrived.

Each class made Christmas tree ornaments, and the veterans were allowed to select some to take home. The students also made Christmas cards for their guests.

At their age, Hogshead said, it’s important for students to learn the value in doing something for others.

“We were all very proud of their selfless act of giving to someone else during the holiday season,” she said.

For their efforts in sharing the joy of Christmas with others, The Daily Citizen names Brookwood’s first-graders Citizens of the Week.