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MARSHALL – Second-grade students in Marie Dennis’ class at Walters Elementary School in Marshall recently demonstrated their caring for others by donating dozens of books to Oaklawn Hospital.
The books, which were obtained from the Scholastic Corporation, are intended for use by pediatric patients who come to the hospital’s Emergency Department.
“Each year, I try to teach my students about compassion to others,” Dennis said. “Last year, my brother and his wife were in a serious motorcycle accident in Louisiana, and spent their Christmas in rehab. I flew down there to try to bring some Christmas spirit to them as best as I could. Seeing so many other people in the facility led me to wanting to reach out to our local hospital this year.
“Knowing how much my students love to read, I thought giving books to be used by the hospital for other kids would be a good way for my class to learn about compassion to others,” she said.
Dennis said she gave her students copies of the current Scholastic book order and let them mark whatever books they thought other children would like to read.
“With each book order through Scholastic, our class earns books,” she said. “I also earn bonus points to be used for more books or other classroom materials. For the November book order, I sent a note home to parents letting them know that all of the ‘earned’ books and bonus points would be used to purchase books for Oaklawn. They were also invited to purchase books for the donation.
“When the orders were all turned in, we had enough ‘earned’ to purchase more than 50 books,” Dennis said. “We tried to get a good variety of genres, including fiction and non-fiction.”
Melissa Blair, clinical coordinator for Oaklawn’s Emergency Department, visited the school on Dec. 19 to receive the books and deliver them to the hospital.
“This is just such a great example of how our community works together to help and provide comfort at special times of need,” said Richard Lindsey, Oaklawn’s Executive Director of Development and Community/Legislative Affairs.
“We’re very grateful for this kind donation to our young patients, and we think these wonderful students are just great for showing us how compassionate and helpful they are,” he said