For more than a decade, Dauphin Junior High School STEM teacher Melanie Hamlin has used what she calls “Thankful Trees” to encourage her students – and all students from DJHS – to describe what they are thankful for.
Thanksgiving is typically a time when many Americans take time to remember what they are thankful for and Hamlin said it’s easy to sometimes take things for granted. Students write the things they are thankful for on leaves that are then attached to the trees on a wall in the hallway across from Hamlin’s classroom.
“I like to encourage the kids to be grateful,” she said. “We have so much to be grateful for and in fact the whole world sort of looks at the United States like we’re spoiled and don’t recognize it. So, it helps us to recognize how much we have to be thankful for.”
When looking at the trees the typical things that you would expect to see young people give thanks for – football, video games and the like – are there but there are also students giving thanks for God, food and their parents.
“Almost inevitably parents and family are the first things that go up there,” Hamlin said. “To me, that says a lot about these kids.
“These are junior high kids and I think sometimes it seems like as parents we don’t matter as much to them but really they know that they have a lot to be thankful for, especially parents