XENIA — Cox Elementary School has an active bunch of fifth-graders who like to write and express themselves through letters — to Santa.
“The students were given an assignment, what would you wish for to change the world? And how would your choice make the world a better place,” said LaShann Latimer, a language arts teacher who encouraged her students to think of non-materialistic things to wish for. “Ultimately, they were given a chance to choose one topic that centered around ‘trust, peace, respect, honesty, and kindness.’ ”
Latimer added the assignment was worth a 100 percent participation credit. For extra credit, some parents chose to join their child in writing the letter, one even wrote a poem.
“The kids wanted to be problem solvers under our ‘shining star’ program, so this assignment addressed that,” said Latimer, who gave an example of one child’s wish was for kindness and to not bully others because “it’s hard to be angry and stressed-out when you’re smiling.”
“I am so proud that our Cox ‘shining stars’ showed their true colors through this holiday project,” said Principal Lisa Peterson. “While every child has that special something on their wish list, it is incredibly gratifying to see so many of these fifth-graders asking for things for others, too.”
Other responses included hope for better treatment of animals and to “show them respect by not polluting the river.” Some of the children thought that living with COVID-related issues caused people “to be angry and people don’t respect each other any more.”
Caden Jacobson’s wish was for “people to be more happy in the world — this is what the world is missing. Because a lot of people are sad and mad because they’ve been stuck in a quarantine and can’t be outside with their friends.” Caden’s aunt and grandmother are visiting from Minnesota and think the project and all the students’ responses are great.
The Mault family expressed their hope that “despite everything, we hope that things return to normal. Teachers would be able to spend their time teaching.”
“The children loved this assignment,” said Latimer, who teaches English, writing, and spelling. “Around 50 students participated. Kids were very excited to complete this project. They helped with the art work, colored pictures of Santa, and did the background for the visual display,”
A display of the letters is on the window at the Xenia Daily Gazette, 1836 W. Park Square. Families and friends are encouraged to come by and read the submissions.
Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.