First Grade Unit Teaches Writing and Brings Great Cheer
First graders are doing a lot of letter writing! In early March, they studied the postal system as part of their Thematic Studies Letter Writing unit. Once the School transitioned to ShadyHill@Home, it was the perfect opportunity for the Grade I team to write letters to their students, and the students are now mailing back their replies.
As an extension of the unit, students are writing to residents of the Cambridge Homes, a retirement community near campus. One resident there, Faith Chase, taught Kindergarten at Shady Hill for over 30 years until her retirement in 1992. Hired in 1969, Ms. Chase is Shady Hill’s first African American teacher. (As readers may know, there is an endowed fund in Ms. Chase's name that supports continuing education for faculty of color. Although Ms. Chase retired years ago, her admirers continue to send new gifts each year and boost the Faith Chase Fund.)
When Ms. Chase heard that Shady Hill's first-graders would be writing her, she was thrilled! COVID-19 protocols mean that residents at the Cambridge Homes are largely confined to their rooms, unable to eat together or hold group activities. The students’ cards will help brighten Ms. Chase and her neighbor's days.
This Grade I letter writing project continues the long relationship Shady Hill has enjoyed with the Cambridge Homes. Over the years, Shady Hill teachers have walked their classes over to share poems and songs. Classes, including Ms. Chase's, have made cards and written letters. While Ms. Chase said she will dearly miss the Blue Chorus coming to sing in person this year, she is thrilled that Shady Hill students are sending greetings through letters and art work. "First grade is a very special age," Ms. Chase said. "How exciting they are doing this project and that my friends here and I can be a part of it!"