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Letter Writing: Building and Maintaining Relationships

Dear Readers,

As the second show I’ve tried to watch today watches me, these oldies but, goodies are running through my head; Dear Mr. Blueberry, Can I be Your Dog?, Dear Primo, Dear Mrs. LaRue, The Jolly Postman and Other People’s Letters, Letters from Maisy, Dear Juno, Dragon Post… An idea is brewing. Over the past few weeks, the concept of “trauma-invested” schools has been on my mind. I’ve had more conversations lately about how to address the myriad of challenging issues in school than I care to admit. It’s also been my great displeasure to have to pull from my stack of grief books for children to help some dear families. The trauma that many are experiencing is very real. If any of this hits home, my prayers are with you.
Emotional safety and positive relationships are the hallmark of happy, well-adjusted, continuous learners. There’s so much out there to derail us. However, there is no denying the merits of meaningful connections to others. So, today I’m wondering what I can do, improve on, and/or change to make kindergarten a place where students feel safe, supported, and capable of building and maintaining relationships. In our schools, we’re committed to building authentic relationships with the children and families we serve. Beyond the strategies and behaviors we model, how do we engage our little ones in doing this work?

Before break, Kindergartners started a letter writing unit. We will continue this work with some letters of gratitude upon our return. I’ve also asked families to submit a list of addresses of family and friends to whom Kindergartners can write. Here’s another idea that brewing. In our district, kindergarten and first grade information nights will be scheduled shortly. This is the perfect opportunity to engage current kindergartners in creating welcome letters (perhaps even brief presentations) for incoming kindergartners and families. These letters could be part of a larger welcome package. The ideas are simple. Yet, opening these doors of communication, and allowing kindergartners to take responsibility for planning and organizing something purposeful could be a wonderful learning and growing opportunity. I’m excited to see where this leads. I’ll fill you in next month.

Happy New Year and Best Regards Readers,


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