Reading Lesson Turns into Much More for Students at St. Francis of Assisi School in St. Albans
By Tim Bishop
ST. ALBANS—For third-grade students at St. Francis of Assisi School in St. Albans, what began as a simple reading lesson in early November turned into so much more. Third-grade teacher, Lindsey Davis said the students read a story in which the main character builds a kite and attaches wishes to its tail. In the story, as the wishes fall to the ground, they come true.
From there, Davis had each of her students write their own wish on slips of paper. She then released the wishes attached to balloons. Davis said that her students were excited to work on the project. “They were really happy with the idea,” she said. “They wanted to know if their wishes would be found because they were worried that someone would read them.”
And found they were—more than 230 miles away. Less than a month after releasing the wish balloons, the school received an envelope in the mail. The envelope contained an anonymous letter from a farm owner in Virginia explaining where the letter was found along with a map of the balloons’ travel. What Davis said was most amazing is that the family that found the wishes wrote a response of each of the children’s wishes. “I never thought it would turn into something this big,” Davis said. “Honestly, the kids were upset at first that somebody looked at their wishes. But, I read the response letter and the responses to each of the wishes and the kids thought it was really great. The fact that somebody took the time sit down and write a response to each one of these wishes and a letter with a map—it’s amazing. It gives you hope that there is still some really good people in this world.”
Davis said the class is already collaborating on a thank you letter to send to the family that found their wishes. She said that although they don’t know a name, a return address was on the envelope. “We are going to send them a picture of the class as well as a thank you letter signed by each of the students,” Davis said.
Coincidentally, the same day that the students received their response letter, the school also received an anonymous donation of $25,000. School officials said they are not sure if it came from the same person, but they are definitely thankful for the double blessing the school received that day.
Below is the Letter the School Received along with Some of the Responses to the Students’ Wishes
Dear Third Graders,
We wanted to let you know that my family and I really enjoyed reading your wish lists. On each of your wish lists we wrote you a little note in return. It is crazy how far it traveled to get to us. I included a map in the envelope and how far your wishes traveled. Your little wishes ended up in our field on a fence line on a farm. This really melted our hearts and made our day a little brighter. We wish every one of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and hope each and every one of your wishes come true.
Blessings to All!!!
Wish: I wish we didn’t have to wear school uniforms.
Response: One day you will look back and think “wow” that was cool.
Wish: I wish I could have another puppy so when my mom, brothers and I are gone she will not be lonely.
Response: Maybe wait till the puppy gets older and show your parents how you can take care of one and maybe they will get you another one.
Wish: I wish that I will graduate from high school.
Response: Study hard and pay attention to your teachers. You will be a great student.
Wish: I wish I could make Magic Tree House books.
Response: Just keep writing and continuing your education and I’m positive you will write lots of books.
Wish: I wish I was popular.
Response: Popularity is overrated, just be yourself and NEVER change!
Wish: I wish that when I grow up I will be just like my Mommy.
Response: Always listen and do what your Mom says and one day you will.
Wish: I wish I was great at gymnastics.
Response: Practice makes perfect, but remember to have FUN!
Wish: I wish I will make straight A’s all year.
Response: Studying and paying attention to your teacher will help you succeed in anything.
Wish: I wish I was the most pretty ever.
Response: It’s not what is on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside and never change and you will be the prettiest!!
Mrs. Davis wished: I wish for all of my students’ dreams to come true.
Response: Stay true to your kids and teach the right things and your wish will come true.