ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Elementary school students in St. Louis County are showing their appreciation for healthcare workers by writing them letters of gratitude.
“Amazing, superheroes, awesome, excellent” — That’s how fourth-graders from Rose Acres Elementary School in the Pattonville School District describe the healthcare workers inside SSM Health Depaul Hospital in Bridgeton. On Tuesday, they had a chance to show them how much they meant in person.
“Thank you very much,” Seth Lovell, the Chief Nursing Officer of SSM Health Depaul Hospital said while a student handed him a handwritten letter.
The students are learning how to write letters during their writing unit. Mixing that skill with kindness month, the students decided to write letters for healthcare workers in their community. They were able to bring that skill to life as they handed the letters personally to the healthcare heroes Tuesday afternoon.
“Their kindness challenge was to be appreciative and say thank you to people around them, and they took the initiative to think about the healthcare workers here at DePaul and how they ultimately help to keep us at school,” Grave Burgos, a fourth-grade teacher said.
Kayla Newsome was one of the more than a dozen fourth-graders who took the time to write a letter to the healthcare workers and deliver it Tuesday. “It felt good to help and give somebody something that will mean a lot to them,” Newsome said.
“We had a lot of different emotions coming from our caregivers here. Some were laughing at some of the jokes that were in the letters, and some were really moved by the gesture from those in our community especially those in our local schools,” Lovell said. “A lot of focus on health care workers and service workers were really front-loaded.”
“Getting to hand out the letters that they worked really hard on is something they are going to remember forever,” Kirstie Hummert, a fourth-grade teacher said.
It’s a lifelong memory made and a boost these heroes needed.
“We often refer to caregiver burnout as an equation, of stress and that divided by support. We’ve seen the stress maintain or get higher and I think some of the focus from the support perspective has dwindled,” Lovell said.
He said a kind gesture like this will mean a lot to those still on the front lines.
“All of the education and the academics is important but how they felt and they make others feel is really what’s important to us,” Mary Spitzmiller, one of the fourth-grade teachers said.
The CFO read one letter aloud Tuesday:
“Dear healthcare worker,
Thank you for sacrificing the time with your families to save our families. I appreciate you for keeping the community strong and healthy, I’m thankful for saving our lives when we need it. Thanks for caring for us when we need it most. Thank you for making a difference every single day, we appreciate the hard work you guys are doing for our families. You make the world a better place and its because you’re in it. Keep it up you’re doing great
Smiley face, Sincerely (student name).”