A Letter of Thanks from a Teacher
The following is a reprint of comments from Jami Elmore, a Henrico County Public School teacher, at our annual spring fundraising event, Twilight Carniball, on March 2, 2013. Many in the crowd were moved by her comments, which beautifully outlined how donations benefit children's visits to the Children's Museum. Thank you, Jami, for your comments, and for all you do for children! Liz Pearce
Good evening! My name is Jami Elmore. For the past four year, I have been privileged to be a part of the Federal Programs Preschool team in Henrico Country Public Schools. I work at Chamberlayne Elementary School on the North Side of Henrico. The students that I teach come from diverse backgrounds. The students in my class this year differ greatly in their socio-economic status. Some come from single-family homes, some have parents that are incarcerated, some are being raised by their grandparents, and this year I have two kiddos that are homeless. Many of these children have seen much more in their five short years then should be allowed. They have been forced to grow up quickly and have not been given the best opportunities to just “be a kid”. They are not children who have been taken to the park to explore nature, they have not been read to before bed, and they definitely have not been brought to places like the Children’s Museum of Richmond.
Research shows that play is not just a joyful and energizing experience but is deeply connected to human development and intelligence. Dr. Stuart Brown, a pioneer in research on play, believes that there is a strong correlation between life long success and playful activity as a child.
For the past several years I have been able to take these children of mine as a class to The Children’s Museum of Richmond because of the Children’s Museum of Richmond Scholarship Fund. I feel blessed to be able to share this amazing opportunity with my students. As teachers, all we want is for our students to be able to explore the world and learn all that there is to learn. I wish you could see my students at the museum crawling through the caves, climbing the tree house, driving the ambulance, and digging for fossils. It is the cutest thing! When all of that is done, they count money in the bank, buy groceries in the grocery store, and creating an original piece of art to take home with them!
As some of you may know, today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Dr Seuss once said, “Sometimes you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory”. This is what The Children’s Museum of Richmond’s Scholarship Fund does for children. It gives children who otherwise may never be given a chance to create a rich memory of this museum an experience they will never forget. And, Dr. Seuss would like that!
My hope is that the money that is raised tonight at the Twilight Carniball will help provide the opportunity for more teachers, like me, to be able to create wonderful memories for many more children. I want to thank the Children’s Museum for inviting me here tonight and I want to thank you all in advance for your generosity and dedication to children.
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