Bennie Elementary fourth-graders say ‘thank you’

Photo by Maureen Klein Maureen Klein’s Bennie Elementary fourth grade students Justin Kephart (left), Preston Smolenski and Daemond Wallis paint a “thank you” sign for their Nov. 25 trip to thank police, firefighters and Heartland Healthcare Center workers for their work for the community.

Photo by Maureen Klein
Maureen Klein’s Bennie Elementary fourth grade students Justin Kephart (left), Preston Smolenski and Daemond Wallis paint a “thank you” sign for their Nov. 25 trip to thank police, firefighters and Heartland Healthcare Center workers for their work for the community.

By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — Two days before Thanksgiving, some Bennie Elementary students personally went to thank police, firefighters Heartland Nursing Care Facility workers for how they help the community.

Maureen Klein has taken her fourth-grade students on muffin and handmade card deliveries for four years. In addition to using the trip as a way of thanking people, it also serves as a teaching tool. She said fourth-grade Social Studies focuses on civics and serving the common good. She said she used that to tie the lesson in with Thanksgiving.

“It gives them a sense of being grateful for what they have,” Klein said.

Those receiving the cards and muffins also were thankful.

“We were surprised when the bus pulled up,” Sgt. Chris Granica said. “It was really nice of the kids.”

Bennie Principal Sara Metzer said the students also visited the Fire Department and retirement homes.

“They made cards to tell people how thankful they are for them,” Metzger said.

Some of the cards read, “Police rule the common good,” and “Thank you for serving.”

The children made the muffins at school and delivered three dozen to each site.

“The muffins were great,” Granica said.

Klein also uses the muffin making as a teaching tool.

“We cook in class once a week,” Klein said. “In the process, they’re learning fractions, multiplying and dividing. So by the time we tackle fractions, they have been doing them all along.”

She said it is also a science learning tool.

Klein said that on cooking days, when asked what they did, the students say they didn’t do anything, they just had fun. She said for them it is fun and they don’t realize just how much they are learning.

Klein said she also was impressed with some of the messages on the cards. She said the students put thought into making them.

“They are really deep thinkers when given the chance,” Klein said. “It’s so neat to see.”

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at tnims@bewickpublications.com.)