Beginning next issue in the Boothbay Register, Boothbay Region Elementary School fourth graders will be sharing their hopes and concerns during these strange times in a segment called “Words of Comfort.”
Teachers Kathy Hartley and Jennifer Lassen came up with the idea after watching renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma sharing his “Songs of Comfort.” Hartley said the purpose of Words of Comfort is to encourage a connection between students and the community.
“It was an absolutely beautiful moment with YoYo playing a tender piece of music for the world on his cello, offering such comfort and calmness,” said Hartley. “It sparked musicians all over the world to share their music with others.”
Students’ prompts include personal introductions, updates on what they have been doing since school closed, and sharing their feelings about their place in everything going on in the world right now.
Said Hartley, “Students will also end their pieces by reaching out to the elders in our communities to ask if they would kindly share writings back about things they had to endure when they were 9 and 10-year-olds, or younger – what they did, and what lessons can they pass on to help them get through this.”
The teachers said the format of writing is entirely up to the author – narrative, poetry or daydreams, a la Nikki Giovanni.
Both teachers said the idea was received well by students and after the assignment was handed out April 10, over half a dozen submitted their words by the next evening.
As we begin sharing the words of BRES fourth graders, we ask our readers to ponder on their childhood experiences, some of which may have been clouded by the kind of fear, confusion and uncertainty today’s children face. Responses can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org