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ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Thank you. Two simple words that can go a very long way.

And last week students at Elkhart Community Schools took some time out of their school day to express their gratitude by writing a hand-written thank you note to a teacher or staff member who has made a positive impact on their lives.

The cards were provided by the Elkhart Education Foundation as part of its 12 Days of Giving Campaign, which is a focused fundraising time for EEF programs and an opportunity to cultivate an attitude of gratitude across the district, said EEF Executive Director Ashley Molyneaux.

“Our students are impacted by a number of people on a daily basis, whether it’s the cafeteria worker, the custodian, past or present teachers or their bus driver,” Molyneaux said. “We’re trying to teach that culture of attitude that sometimes it’s important to sit down and say ‘thank you’ or let someone know they made an impact on your life because it could really make their day.”

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Students at Elkhart Central High School wrote their thank you letters Thursday morning during their advisory period. Some students had a hard time choosing just one staff member, so they wrote to multiple.

That was the case for students Aaron Coddington and Daniel Nunez, who both said two teachers come to mind as they reflected on who had the strongest impact on their lives at ECS: Kelly Buckley and Sheila Brown.

“I had to write to both of them because no matter what decisions I’ve made, they’ve both supported me unconditionally and really helped me with real life situations and always encouraged me to do better,” Coddington, a senior, said. “If my grades were slipping in any of my classes, they would let me know and go out their way to help me, no matter what the subject was.”

Nunez, a junior, expressed the same sentiments as Coddington. “Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Buckley always been with me through thick and thin whether it was a personal or academic issue,” he said. “When I think of people who impacted my life the most at ECS, these two women are the first that come to mind.”

Jonathon Miller, a freshman, praised his fifth grade teacher “Mrs. Baker,” who he said used a hands-on approach to teach rather than lectures. Plus, made time to help students discover what their personal interests were.

“She taught us our core classes, but also made time to help us explore what we thought we were passionate about,” said Miller, who has an interest in body building. “She always told us that whatever we’re interested in whether it’s now or two years from now, if you enjoy it, work at it, and that advice still sticks with me.”

Friday was the last day for students to submit a thank you note, which will be delivered to teachers and staff throughout the district before Thanksgiving Break on Nov. 21 and 22.

“We hope that students, teachers and administrators to model this activity of thank you note writing,” said Molyneaux. “”It’s important to stop and take some time to realize the great things their grateful for because it’s easy to focus on things they might see as challenges, but let’s focus on the positive stuff and lift our morale overall.”

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Source: The Elkhart Truth

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Information from: The Elkhart Truth, http://www.elkharttruth.com