Students in Gilbert writing love, encouragement to other kids in Maui

Something Good is sponsored by Papa Murphy’s
Something Good is sponsored by Papa Murphy's | Students at Chandler Traditional Academy's Freedom Campus are writing and sending their love to those in Maui.
Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 8:10 AM MST
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GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Support of Maui has been coming in from everywhere, and that includes right here in the Valley.

Young students are trying to send encouragement and hope by writing cards and letters for the folks there. These kids are sending Maui love from Arizona.

At Chandler Traditional Academy’s Freedom Campus in Gilbert, third grade teacher Samantha Solien goes beyond how to write a letter in her class. “Today, we are working on writing let’s to the residents of Maui,” she says to her students. She tells Arizona’s Family that she loves the idea and that it’s “very empathetic.” It falls perfectly in line with Chandler Unified School District’s program called “Portrait of a Learner.”

“So we had a conversation on empathy and how writing these letters show that we care about them and that we’re here to support them,” she says. Solien says the students know about the disaster in Mau, but it’s not always easy for a third grader to comprehend the scope of the tragedy, so she looked for ways to help these 8- and 9-year-olds to try and understand.

“When you say to them, ‘They don’t have their schools,’” she says. “My kids are like, ‘What are they going to do?’ Well, they’ll have to rebuild their schools. ‘What about their toys?’ Their toys are also gone. So that’s something they can understand as a third grader. The things they do every day are missing for the children in Maui. So, I think they related to that.”

The Kids brainstormed ideas from the topic of the letters and how to structure a letter. They shared ways to be encouraging and compassionate. “I feel really sad, and I hope they have better lives,” third grader Aniyah Neal says.

“It’s heartwarming,” Solien says. “It’s heartwarming, and I’ve seen a different side of them. They’re showing our lessons on empathy matters, and they definitely have an understanding.”

The third grade students in Kim Anderson’s class are also sending love to Maui by writing letters and making homemade cards. “My heart is so filled,” she says. “You guys are writing such beautiful, compassionate letters.”

Sweet letters that will hopefully bring a smile, even for a moment, to a community that grieves as they send Maui hope and love from Arizona. The letters and cards will be brought over to the island next month by a school staff member who’s going to visit and help families in Maui. She’ll pass them out to those affected by the wildfires.

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