Students Surprise Teacher with Donation and Tribute

Students Surprise Teacher with Donation and TributePSU MEd graduate student Jill Canillas Daley, a library media specialist at Plainfield School in Meriden, sent us the uplifting story about how her eighth-graders surprised her at a graduation luncheon in June. “During their last class meeting several months ago, they decided, against other suggestions, to unanimously donate $500 to the library for books,” writes Daley. “They kept it a secret the whole time.” In addition to this wonderful surprise, Daley received letters from two students telling her the impact she has had on their lives. With permission, we share one of the letters from Daley’s eighth-grade student, Sarah.

It reminds me of why I teach and what education is all about. I thought it would bring light to your day as well. Enjoy, and remember why we do what we do, especially when times are tough! We DO make an impact!

Jill Canillas Daley

For Jill

They all say
That kids don’t read these days;
That they’re too busy
With their music,
Books are just too slow.

Let them see the library.
Let them listen to her read
And watch the kids sit still
And almost quiet,
Hands over mouths
Caring about the story.

They all say
That kids don’t know anything these days;
They don’t care about the future,
Or law,
Or money,
Or give it a passing thought.
They don’t think it matters; they won’t grow old.

Take them to the library.
Make them listen to the kids there
Debate copyright,
Fair use,
And budget.
Versus the price of books,
Writing numbers on a whiteboard.

They all say
Kids don’t have respect anymore
For anyone,
Or anything–
The give-me generation,
No voice and no manners.

Make them sit in the library,
Where kids aren’t talked down to
And they only pretend
That they’re scared of her kicking boots.
They say what they have to,
As close to in turn as they can.
And she helps them find solutions.
And they like her.
And they listen.

They all say
Library class is pointless,
No one needs it–
Not in the digital age,
Not in this economy.

Bring them to the library.
We’ll show them they’re wrong.
~Sarah 2011


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