‘Autumn Blessings’: Students and parents pay it forward to teachers

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A mom and PTO member of St. Jude Catholic School has created “Autumn Blessings,” a way students and parents can give back to teachers.

St. Jude Catholic School is encouraging parents and students to make it “Fall” by taking a leaf from their Parent Teacher Organization bulletin board to fulfill classroom needs for teachers.

“Being part of PTO and school council, I see some of their needs as they discuss or bring them up to us for thing. And, some of the activities that come back from my kids that they have going on,” said Karen Dao, PTO member and mom of three. “We all know that teachers have a tendency to spend their own money on things, I thought it would be nice to give back to them.”

Teachers turn in lists with items they need, put the list on a leaf which is stapled onto a bulletin board. The board is hung in the hallway outside of the schools office.

One St. Jude Catholic School teacher says they don’t have a large classroom budget so they try to be as creative as they can with what they have, but they feel so lucky.

“You know it’s very humbling to know that we’ve got so many people out there willing to help us and to spend more of their time and money to make our job easier. It’s a blessing,” said Michelle Pacha, 2nd grade teacher.

The school says about half of its teachers have submitted lists and Pacha has advice for teachers who may be unsure of what supplies to ask for.

“You can ask your students if there’s things that we feel we need. A lot of times they’ll come up with ideas that they want something for the playground that you’re not aware of, or they want a certain set of new markers that are out that teachers might not be aware of,” said Pacha. “So, to take the pressure off the teacher, you can have the students come up with ideas and they have some ownership in that.”

This effort was created to help the school and assist teachers in their lessons to help the students, but it goes beyond that.

“I think this is an opportunity for our parents and our students to give back to our teachers who are there to provide a lot for us, and focus on that gratitude and kindness that we can give this time of season,” said Dao.


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