Student Voices: Letters from the heart

Student Voices: Letters from the heart

by Humphreys Middle School Students
Stripes Korea

Editor’s Note: These students from Humphreys Middle School know they have a lot to be thankful for, so they took some time to write to those who play such a big part in their lives. Thanks for sharing with us, guys!

Dear Mom,
I want to thank you for everything you do. You do so much for so many people, including me. I appreciate when you make dinner almost every single night. It almost always tastes phenomenal! The only reason why I said almost always instead of always is because I am a very picky eater. Thank you for doing the laundry, the cat litter, or the dishes. I appreciate how you listen to me talk, A LOT. Especially on the first day of physical school, after school I was talking to you, describing my day, for at least 20 minutes (I am a chatterbox). I appreciate it when you are on your hands and knees cleaning up the mess that my siblings and I made.  Thank you so much for planning family adventures/trips! You work hard to pack, plan, and find a cat sitter for the best trips ever! I am very excited for Thanksgiving weekend because we are going to go to Dragon Hill Lodge, the best hotel in South Korea, for 3 nights and 4 days. I admire how you make the best out of things. I admire how you are so forgiving. When I argue with my siblings or I have bad behavior you get upset but still forgive us. I am grateful for the birthday or holiday gifts you have given me. I am always happy when I come home from school and see you and talk to you about my day. I know that Grace, my older sister, also likes to tell you about her day, too. My friend’s mom even said that she wants to be like you.  You are loved by so many people. I am so grateful for you.
Sincerely,
Your favorite daughter Abigail  , 6th Grade

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Dear Mom & Dad,
I was supposed to write a letter to one person but thought it was appropriate to write to both of you. Words cannot express how much you both mean to me, but I will try. You are like my phone; I cannot live without you. You are the first I greet in the morning and the last to say goodnight. I would be lost without you. You both  raised me to be caring and thoughtful of others just like you.

Mom, I am thankful for all the Halloween costumes, birthday balloons and holiday cheer you give every year. Thank you for packing my lunch everyday and for the notes you leave in my lunch sometimes to tell me that you love me. Thanks for the extra snacks sometimes too. I am also thankful that you help me clean my room and let me have sleepovers with my friends. I’m thankful for the way you treat me with care and love.

Dad, you are thoughtful, brave, and selfless. You never put yourself first and you think of your children’s needs above your own. I am thankful that you take time to let me cook and workout with you. I am also thankful for my allowance and for letting me spend my money on Pokemon Go and XBox. I am also thankful for you going on raids with me.

You both work tirelessly for our family to ensure we are taken care of and have fun. I am grateful for movie nights on the big screen, bike rides, card games and cool vacations to Disney and Hawaii.

Because of your family-first values, our family has bonded together as much as the golden orb weaver spider’s web in our backyard. I love you both and thankful for all you do for me.
Love,
Caelan, 6th Grade

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Dear Parents,
Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, every morning you wake up to wish me a good day. Every morning you make me breakfast so I’m not hungry all day. When I come home you ask how my day was and you’re always there to listen to what I say. You give me so much for me to enjoy, every night you make sure I have everything ready. You guys have brought me into this world and there is no way I can thank you, you guys have done so much for me and with you I wouldn’t even be alive.

You guys always make sure that I feel loved, and if I’m having a bad day you listen to me as I vent for ages. You feed me three meals a day and always push to me to be the best I can be. You always make sure I have good grades and when I’m sick you do whatever it takes to make me feel better. You guys always are there when I have problems or questions and you always have an answer to anything I ask. I love you guys to the bottom of my heart and always will.

I’m sure sometimes it seems like I don’t but that’s just because I’m still a little boy, I’ll love you forever no matter what happens. You guys have done so much for me and there is no way I’ll ever be able to repay all the things you’ve done for me. You guys have always been at my side no matter what has ever happened and I’ll be at your side too. You guys are the best parents in the world and no one could replace you guys. I love you and always will.
Sincerely,
Marcus Inglis, 6th grade

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Dear Mrs. Wheeler,
You are more than a kindergarten teacher to me. You have shaped the way I am as a student today and the main reason I love to go to school everyday. I never want to miss a day to learn something new. Because of you I feel like my teachers care about me no matter if I am right or wrong. You never stopped caring about me, even after seven years I know that you would be available to answer any questions. I was just one of your students, this is how wonderful you are.

You taught me how to love math, problem solving, reading, writing, and most importantly self-esteem. I feel like I am not a bad person when I make mistakes at school. I haven’t seen you in years, but you tell me happy birthday every year. You check in with me through social media and always have something nice to say about me. It isn’t easy to have a constant school in the life of a military child as we move so often, so when you check in on me I feel like my life is normal. How many other students have you helped like me? You taught me how to use important things from a simple pencil to scissors. I have learned, what would seem like simple things, but actually very important things, from you. Every time I see you, you’re smiling, which is hard to do knowing how young children act. The first day I met you; you said I could be whatever I wanted to be. Every day I would paint you a picture and you’d say you liked it very much. I think you deserve an award because you are the most caring teacher I have ever met.
Thank you for what you have taught me.
Sincerely,
Henry Klene, 6th grade

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Dear Mama and Papa,
Thank you for everything you have done for me. You have made a big impact on my life even though I am still young. Mama and Papa you have smothered me in your love, I love you both a lot and appreciate your effort and love bringing me up to be a better individual. Mama and Papa thank you for giving me the support that I need to achieve my goals, and for believing I have the talent to reach my goals. Thank you for making me realize I should be treated equally and fair and should never settle for less than I deserve. Thank you for spending countless hours of homework on math to keep me challenged and ahead. Thank you both for coaching me on the sidelines before, during, and after every soccer or basketball game. Every moment of my life you have been here and standing along the journey. Thank you both for showing me true love in its rarest form. Without both of you I’d be nowhere near where I am now and the person I am still working on being. Thank you for spending so much of your time, love and money in your efforts to make a resobsable pre-teen out of me. I want to thank you both from the deepest part of my heart for everything you have done. There aren’t enough words to express my appreciation, but I think good is a start.
Love,
Ngozichukwu Mika Okpokwasili, 6th Grade

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Dear Pamela and Bryant Horton,
I have been thinking about this for a long time and I decided to write this saying that I am very GRATEFUL for you guys.  I don’t think you both know how I feel because without you two, I would not be the loveable and funny boy that you love today. I will forever be grateful for your dedication and hard work to make sure me and my brothers are safe and away from harm. It can be very overwhelming especially with 3 kids. Some people would just give up because of stress and I am grateful for you both not giving up. Another thing is traveling around the world. We have been to Germany, Italy, South Korea, and the Netherlands. I would have never been to these places without you guys. My list of things that I am grateful for can go on and on, but you two are on the top of that list.
Sincerely,
Your son, Adrian Horton , 8th Grade

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Dear Mom and Dad,
I was going to make an essay on this topic but I later thought that I should show my gratitude towards you guys in a letter. Some of this may sound cheesy but I can assure you that these words are my meaningful way to show that you have done more than impact my life.

You have given me life, an amazing and free life. The amount of effort that you put in to give your children this life is more than any other. Through all of our conflict, I know that you love and care about me so very much. Even though you both work hard and long jobs, you still have enough time for my activities; Like my projects or posters. Even when you can’t make it to some of these activities, I know that I wouldn’t even be able to do them if it wasn’t for your guidance in the past. Not one of my birthdays have gone by without an abundance of fun. Not one christmas has gone by without decorations or presents. Not one Thanksgiving has gone by without a meal and grateful relatives.

To end this, I would like to specifically acknowledge you, Mom. You are  the most beautiful and hardworking mother in the world. You do so much work even when it isn’t needed. Like when you willingly applied for a job at the HCES. You didn’t have to but you did because you wanted to help other staff members and students. You are amazing parents.
Your son, 
Eshan Khan, 6th Grade

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Dear Mom,
I am thankful that you brought me into this world and that you show me love. I am also thankful that you care about my education. You have taught me how to read, write, talk, and prepared me for school which helps me right now and it will help me in the future. You have helped me in quarantine because of the pandemic that is currently going on right now. This is why I am thankful that you are my mother.
Sincerely,
Samiyah Murphy, 6th grade

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Dear Lewis Pugh,
This might be a little weird writing a letter to you since most of the time we call but I need to tell you why gratitude matters. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.Gratitude also has been linked to better physical health, as well as better sleep and reduces stress levels. You can live a much better life when you’re grateful because as you improve your relationship to the world, you feel better within your body. Gratitude shows how much we appreciate things and how much we care for it, it also can show how kind you can be to one and another. Practicing gratitude can benefit to get unstuck and to keep moving forward.

Gratitude helps with relationships to keep us healthy. This is because the people that you hang out with or spend time with make you feel appreciated and encourage you to stay together. And most of all, the relationships will always manage to maintain health and help you be thankful for all the good things that are happening in the present, no matter how big or small those might be.

You can make gratitude a part of your daily life. All you need to do is to do most of these simple things. You can keep a gratitude journal, you can tell someone that they are special and you appreciate them, you can smile more often out in public, you can do random acts of kindness, don’t judge others, pay attention to the present and not the future, and you can meditate. Those are only some of the things that you can use gratitude for in your daily life.

What I am grateful for is my family, food, water, and the roof above  my head. Without any of these things/items I don’t think I would be alive. But thanks to my parents for bringing me life; their lives have changed because of me. I appreciate everything they do for me and so should you.
Sincerely,
Kaylee Putman, 8th Grade

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Dear Kevin Do,
Thank you for fighting in the Vietnam war. Thank you for flying and fighting in the planes, high in the air. Thank you for swimming with my mom on your back, to get on a boat to freedom, because if you didn’t my mom never would have met my dad. Thank you for taking care of my mom, her sisters, my sister, and me.

If you didn’t, I would have a different future. It would be different, because I wouldn’t get as good of a schooling, have as good of a life, I wouldn’t have many second chances, and I wouldn’t have as good parents. I wouldn’t live in a good country system. If you didn’t, I would have different cousins, or none at all.

If I didn’t get a good education, I would have less job opportunities. I wouldn’t get high paying jobs. I wouldn’t have as good of a life because I would have less money to pay for stuff, nor probably have electricity. Plus, all the flooding and the typhoon flooded and destroyed houses and land. I wouldn’t have many second chances, because I would get disciplined differently(where if you do something bad people would automatically punsined you).

I wouldn’t have as good parents, because my parents are the easiest going people. Plus, they take me and Sammy on many trips.Also, when they come home they spend time with us. I wouldn’t live in a good country system because I wouldn’t get as many rights. For example, I wouldn’t have the right to vote, nor have the freedom of the press. In conclusion, thank you for giving me a good life, a good schooling, for fighting in the Vietnam war, and helping my mom and her sisters escape to a boat to freedom.
Sincerely,
Aaron, 6th Grade

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Dear Mrs. Gioia,
Now that I’m in 6th grade I realize how hard it actually is. Thanks to you though it has been so much easier. In 5th grade, I was worried about 6th grade and what it was going to be like. I have used some of the skills you taught us to make it 10 times easier this year. Two things that you taught us that I really use in 6th grade are time management and getting stuff turned in on time. These two skills are super important and have helped me in all my classes including your science class. Thank you for preparing me.
Sincerely,
Dylan Layman, 6th grade

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Dear Doctors Working with COVID-19 Patients,
I am so grateful for you! You are risking your lives to save other people. Most people wouldn’t do that. You are heroes to me. You let the world know that there is hope and that we can fight this virus. When I hear on the news about doctors helping patients with COVID-19 it makes me smile because I know you guys are there. A lot of people have given up in the world, but you doctors must stay positive and keep moving forward. This means the world to me. I will never forget how many people were saved during this time. You’re the reason so many people are surviving. Keep doing what you’re doing because you’re the reason I still have hope!
Thank you for everything,
Aubree Carter , 6 grade

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Dear Ernő Rubik,
Hello Mr. Rubik! I hope you are doing well. I’m writing this letter to you because I want to thank you so much for creating the Rubik’s Cube! I absolutely love solving the Rubik’s Cube. It is a really fun hobby, and it also relieves stress for me! Cubing has helped me make awesome friends, and has also given me something that I am truly passionate about. It is the only hobby in my life that I have not abandoned after a while. Learning how to solve the Rubik’s Cube was really difficult, with all of the different methods and hundreds of algorithms. But unlike some other difficult things, I didn’t give this one up. I just kept practicing and practicing, until I could finally solve it. The thing I like most about Cubing is being a part of the Cubing Community. It’s something I feel very proud of. Once again, I really want to thank you for creating the Rubik’s Cube. I hope you have a good day, Mr. Rubik!
Sincerely,
Julian Cho, 6th grade

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Dear Mom and Dad,
I know you have been hard on me sometimes but that is how I know you care and love me. You are harsh because you want me to know and see what is going to happen to me in the future. I think you are mad at me but really, you are just teaching me. I love you so much Mom and Dad.
Love,
Alessandra Mae Mercurio Balibalos, 6th grade

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Dear Masashi Kishimoto,
I would like to thank you for making my favorite Anime, Naruto. I’m very grateful for that! By making Naruto, you have given me a way to make new friends. This is because when I was little, I did not have many friends or know how to make friends. When I saw that Naruto had no friends I felt sad, but when he made friends I thought I could make some too. Because a lot of people like Anime, I find friends now much easier. Your creation also makes me happy because when I am sad or have had a long day I can sit back and watch Naruto (Although it did make me cry a couple of times).

There are some Questions I would like to ask if I met you. 1. Obviously I would ask for an autograph 2. What happened to Ramen guy in Boruto? 3. Why did you kill Jiraiya and Obito? I felt like Obito and Naruto would have been great friends and I really wanted Jiraiya to see Naruto become Hokage 4. And if you get the chance could you do a spin off series with One piece?  
Sincerely,
Austin Hanson, 6th grade

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Dear Doctors and Nurses,
I am writing this letter to you to thank you. Covid-19 has been a big turning point in history, and you have been a big part of it. You have been taking care of people and saving lives throughout this tough time. One day kids are going to learn about Covid-19 and you are going to be a big part of that story because you are risking your lives every day to save people. I want to be a doctor when I grow up and to be just like you. I want to help people and take care of them.
Thank you for all the work you have done and the people you are saving! You have inspired me!
Sincerely,
Ansley Godfrey, 6th grade

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Dear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr,
You mean the world to me because you helped black people get equal rights. I am sad I never got to meet you, but I know all those that did meet you are grateful. There are so many great things you did in your life! You gave hope to black people, and I want to follow in your footsteps and help people get through tough times also. I am glad that you had a dream! Now, not only me, but the next generation will also carry your dream on.
Love,
AJ Lurhuma, 6th grade

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Dear Mom,
Thank you for all the things you have done for me. When I'm in trouble you defend me. When I need help with something you come and explain what the problem.  You have always been there for me! When we moved to the U.S. you were there for me. Thank you for fighting for all of us through the years!
Love your son,
Juan Hernandez, 6 grade

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Dear Ms. Mullins,
I am very grateful that you were my teacher in 4th grade. You are one of my favorite teachers from school. The way you taught students inspired me to help other people and share knowledge too. I think that my other classmates in grade four would agree as well. I remember that you were not only funny and caring, but you made learning fun. Every day I looked forward to going to school just for your class! I hope that if I become a teacher, I’ll be able to encourage my students the same way you encouraged me.
Sincerely,
Brandon Ow, 6th grade

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Dear Dad,
Thank you so much for being the best dad I could ever ask for. Thank you for always being there for and always being there to love and care for me. Thank you for teaching me to be like you and to choose the right. Thank you for being someone that I can look up to, someone I know I can trust, and someone I know loves me. Thank you for helping me when I get hurt or when I feel like quitting. Thank you for going on runs with me and for working out with me all of the time. Thank you for going to work to help our family have what we need and thank you for going through hard times and not giving up so that we can be happy. Thank you for being so funny and always making us laugh. Thank you for playing with me and for teaching me how to do things the right way. Thank you for teaching me how things work in cars and helicopters and lots of other things. Thank you for playing guitar and drums with me and listening to rock and roll with me. Thank you for watching sports games with me and staying up late watching movies with me. Thank you for playing sports with me, especially basketball and having a great time. Thank you for being happy all the time and being optimistic about hard things and thank you for helping all of everyone in the whole family overcome those hard things. Thank you for keeping us safe and teaching us how to keep ourselves safe. Thank you for being a good example for us and reading scriptures with us every night. Thank you for teaching me to be reverent, to be helpful, to be kind, and cheerful. Thank you for teaching me right from wrong and evil from good. Thank you for helping me with school work and helping us become smarter. Thank you for being super nice and never getting mad, and most of all thank you for being my dad, the best dad.
Sincerely,
Derek Snyder, 6th grade

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Dear Friends I've Met in Korea,
To all my friends I've met here, I want to say I'm writing this letter to show my appreciation to you. I am glad you were friends with me during this time. Cristian and Amariah, I’ve known you for the longest, and it’s been a great time being friends with you both. I’m going to miss you both a lot when I PCS! Your funny and kind and like me just for who I am. To Austin, Adrienne, and Celeste, although I haven't known you as long, it's been a great being friends.  I will miss you guys too! I hope I am able to make more friends like all of you in Colorado.
Your friend,
Kevin Cortez, 6th Grade

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Dear American Soldier,
Thank you, for all that you do for our country and for protecting all of us. I wanted to say how thankful I am. I think what you do for us is amazing. You are brave, strong, loyal, full of integrity, and many more things. I wonder how you imagined military life before you joined. I hope it is what you imagined that it would be. How did you tell your family and friends that you were joining the military? Thank you and have an amazing rest of your day!
Sincerely,
Logan Snyder, 6 Grade

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Dear Stranger,
I may not know your name, age, favorite animal, or anything about you, but I still thank you.

Thank you, for helping me, when I was that awkward little kindergartener in the back of the room, crying. Thank you for telling me that I was okay and comforting me.

Thank you for your friend, who also helped me when I was down. Thank you for being the only two people who helped me while I cried. Me, being the shy and stage fright little girl I was, never liked being in that club.

I don’t even remember why I was even put in that drama club. Thank you for listening to what I had to say while others just glanced.

Thank you for not making fun of me or just ignoring me. I thank you for your kind actions towards me. It may not seem like a lot but it sure was. I know that I probably won’t see you again.

Thank you for understanding me and my fear, of going up on that stage, and singing out loud.

Thank you for everything that you said. Thank you for actually being there for me.

To others, it may just seem like I’m thanking another person in this world, but it really was special. It really stuck in my mind of two random middle schoolers asking me if I was okay, while others did nothing. I remember being there feeling lonely and nervous, and you came. Although my stage fright is still here, you still helped me get through that one tough time.

That moment was just really special to me. If you two weren’t there, I might have cried throughout the club. This letter is really just to say thank you for helping me when others didn’t.
Sincerely,
Jia Wrotten, 6th grade

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Dear Mom,
I am thankful for you because you make me feel calm.
You help provide for me.
You make  me happy with glee.
I enjoy when we spend time together.
You’re as gentle as a feather.
You help me to try and do my best.
And it helps me on tests.
You listen when I’m mad.
You hold me when I’m sad.
Tryston Hamilton, 6th Grade

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Gratitude matters because it brings a positive loop around the world.  Without gratitude the world would be a completely depressing place. Everyone wouldn't always have a good day. For example, if someone made a big meal for everyone and they aren't grateful for all the delicious, thoughtful; food and effort the person has made, it would be sad. Also without gratitude not everybody would really like their job since no one would appreciate what they do. With appreciation people keep doing what they do. For example, if a teacher works hard to teach us, she might like it when some students say thank you for all the hard work, then she would want to keep teaching.

I am very grateful for a lot of things, such as my family. My family is so amazing and I’m so grateful for all the food and comfy beds. I am very thankful for all the teachers and staff to teach us students the education we might need in the future. I am very appreciative for everyone in the whole world trying to keep both them and their families safe and sound. I am thankful for my dad working hard for me and my family to provide us food, shelter, and much more. I am grateful for my mom for cooking for us and cleaning around the house. I appreciate my family, friends, and pets for calming me down when I'm upset. I am also very thankful for my teachers telling us how to keep safe and also helping us around the school. I'm glad that they understand that we get lost, while helping us find our way to our classes. Also when us students are upset, they understand and help us go through it. LIke for example, when I was lost on the way to one of my classes all different teachers helped me find my way to my classroom that I needed to be at. I am also very grateful for my ELA teacher because even though one of her friends died from a stroke, she kept going. I’m grateful for all the soldiers out there fighting in wars, for all of us citizens. I am also very very grateful for us being able to have freedom. I am so happy that my siblings made it alive and came into this world. I am super thankful for all the doctors and surgeons who helped me,my mom, my dad, and my siblings when we were sick. Without them my family members wouldn't have made it through.
Sakura Scott, 6th Grade

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Gratitude--And the Feeling of Gratitude
Gratitude, in my view of the world, means not only to be thankful for what you have, but also to be content with it, and happy.

And to be happy means not to just plaster a smile all over your face, it means to understand that life is good, and to appreciate that life is good.

I am grateful for having a confident understanding of the world. I am grateful that, even if many people tug me backwards on what this means and if that’s the right thing to post and whether my hair should be like this or like this, I have my free will. Only not many people understand what “free will” truly means.

I am grateful for many, many things, for Harry Potter for sparking up that magic in me, for Mum and Dad for giving me food in my stomach and a roof over my head, for Mia, my little fluffy dog, for being there when I am cold or sad or both,  for every book I’ve ever read for growing my desire to become a writer and for all my online friends on FANDOM and Discord for being there for me, and of course my real-life friends, because they exist on this planet for me to hug and talk to and be with.

Gratitude, I’ve learned throughout my past years, is not just gathering with friends and family and eating turkey. It is a very strange, warm, practically magical feeling in your chest that bounces about excitedly every time you see something or someone that you love, like a fire that is being given some kind of fuel, and then settles down into a warm, calm feeling of gratitude that that something or someone is there and safe and well, like that fire sputtering out into embers.

So what is gratitude?

Gratitude is unexplainable, yet totally understandable. It’s one of those things that you can’t describe, like an angel. It’s a beautiful thing to have. There is no correct answer to this question, because it changes all the time, in every person.

I have nothing more to say, nor can I think of anything. So goodbye, and have a good time pondering about this kind of thing, because it’s worth it.
Joy Bryan, 6th Grade

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I Am Grateful
I am grateful for the breeze.
It makes makes my kites fly high
I am grateful for the trees
That make the world beautiful
I am  grateful for my family.
That loves me so
I am grateful for my dogs
That cuddle me to death

I am grateful for my friends
That give someone to play with
I am grateful for my house
That gives me shelter
I am grateful for my bed
That helps me sleep
I am grateful for school
That gives me a place to learn 

I am grateful for the earth
That gives me a world to explore!
Grace Dermody, 6th Grade

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I am Grateful
I am grateful for my parents to be alive.
I am grateful for being able to eat food and drink water.
I am grateful for being able to go to school.
I am grateful for having a stable house to live in.
I am grateful for being able to have friends and people being nice to me.
I am grateful for having a good phone.
I am grateful for my family being nice to me.
I am grateful for having a healthy body.
I am grateful for the friends I have.
I am grateful for my school that doesn’t have bullies.
I am grateful for my nice teachers.
I am grateful for living in a safe country.
I am grateful for the people that were there for me when situations were hard.
I am grateful for who I am.
I am grateful for having a good life.
I am grateful for being born.
Chaelin Lin, 6th Grade

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Gratitude is something to show, and something to say
It tells of your thankfulness and appreciation
It shows who you are and tells how you act
Gratitude is something to give and something to receive
When Thanksgiving comes around
Gratitude is everywhere
And then comes all the cheers
The liveliness and joyous cries
Flowing all through the air
Gratitude makes people feel glad
They feel appreciated and loved
Which is why it is important
For us to show gratitude
To all of our loved ones
Always.
Josiah Ko, 6th Grade

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According to the Oxford language dictionary, gratitude means “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation and returning kindness.” Gratitude helps people appreciate life and be thankful for the good things. It also leads to good mental health and a positive outlook.

Gratitude matters because it can help you get respect throughout your life.  Most people respect you if you are humble and selfless.

Most people appreciate when you thank them for what they do. When you thank someone, it shows that you appreciate what they have done for you or given you. This act of kindness shows that you care about other people and not only yourself.

I have many things to be grateful for in my own life. I am blessed to have a caring family. I am grateful for clean water, plenty of food, and a nice house. I am allowed to get some things that I want, not only what I need. I'm grateful to be able to go to school and get an education. I am glad I am healthy and able to play sports. I am thankful that I have been able to make friends wherever I go.

As you can see, gratitude is an amazing skill to practice. We can all find things that we are grateful for each and every day. It is important to focus on the positive things in life and make a habit of showing people we appreciate them. All of this will lead to a happier life. Oprah Winfrey said it best, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Liam Rairdon, 6th Grade

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The Quality of Being Thankful -ABCs
Although life may seem tough
Boring, stressful, or even a little
Crazy, it is important that you
Don't lose sight of the things you're 
Especially grateful for. The topic of
Forgiveness and tolerance isn't as
Greatly appreciated as it should be.
Having gratitude can improve and help
In many aspects of your life.
Just as people have their own preferences,
Keeping a gratitude journal is one way to
List the things you're grateful for. 
Many studies show that gratitude
Not only boosts your self esteem, but your
Overall mood and metal state as well.
Practicing gratitude frequently can be
Quite helpful to the people around you too.
Realizing the importance of this can help you
Stay positive and look forward to the 
Things your life will bring you. Some
Useful or important things you may be
Very grateful or have gratitude for could be
Water, food, the chance to be alive, the new
Xylophone you got for your birthday, berry
Yogurt or even the stripes that
Zebras have on their bodies.
Angela Schlect, 8th Grade

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Gratitude seems to mean peace of mind
But when will that ever truly be found?
Gratitude seems to mean to be thankful
But for what are people truly grateful?
When a person has gratitude they do not seek more
but when has a person not longed for the chase?
The world thinks they know what gratitude means
but this world is not learned peace,
this world has not learned kindness,
this world has not learned to rest.
We think we know gratitude
but we are in pain.
We think we know gratitude
but we are not kind.
We think we know gratitude
but we still race.
Lauren Eelkema, 8th grade

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Gratitude
a gift is given to others, expecting nothing back in return
Gratitude
something that is often overseen by lots of people
Gratitude
something that can be expressed in many ways and still appreciated by anyone receiving gratitude
Gratitude
the thing that keeps lots of people going, striving to do what they love every day
Gratitude
Why parents are always happy to come back after a long day of work
Gratitude
Friends, family, loved ones, the person that complimented your new shoes at Walmart
Gratitude
Showing someone that giving back is always important.
Johnathan Bell, 6th grade

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Gratitude makes people feel appreciated and will never be unnoticed. Showing gratitude will make your life happier.

People will notice your gratitude and think of you as a kind person and want to keep you close. When you show gratitude to others they will respect you more and want to be around you. People often think that being thankful doesn’t matter, but it does. When you show gratitude you give off good vibes, when you give off good vibes it results in people around you getting positive energy. When you put someone else in a good mood they will show gratitude to others and spread positivity! If you aren’t showing people that you appreciate them, they will not want to be near you and it’ll be hard to build relationships.

In my life I am very thankful for my family and I am grateful that I have two parents who both have successful careers in the Army.

Some people don’t have siblings to share life with but I have two. In our family we literally say “I love you” at least once a day even when we’re not feeling so happy with each other. I have made many friends and even though we move away from each other, I’m proud that we find ways to keep in touch because we want to keep each other close. I try to be the best friend that I can to those that are friends to me. Even when I’m not in a great mood, I try to always show gratitude as much as I can so that people feel appreciated and happy. There are people without friends or family in the world who are much less fortunate, so I show my appreciation as often as possible everyday. 
Layla Akers, 6th grade

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Gratitude is a feeling that naturally emerges from within yourself. However, it is not just an emotional response to something in our life; it is also a choice anyone can make. Gratitude is pausing to notice and appreciate the things that we often take for granted, like having a place to live, family, clean water, friends, food, and even things like computer access. Gratitude is being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen in your life and taking the time to express appreciation and return the kindness. When someone does something nice or helps you out, saying things like thank you can show someone how grateful you are and that you care. Showing gratitude can even change a person’s life!

I am so grateful for so many things that I can’t even count them. I can go on for days about how I am thankful for food, water, a place to live, friends, and family, but not many people don’t think about the little things. I am so grateful for beautiful sunrises that brighten up my day, a good night’s sleep, long hot showers, uncontrollable laughter, that one nice person that lets you in front of them in line because you are late, handmade thank you notes, and even warm socks! When someone shows me gratitude, it makes me smile, and the rest of my day is automatically better. It doesn’t have to be a giant cake or a fancy thank you card, but if you can tell someone that you are thankful for them, it can make a big difference.
Charlie Iuchs, 6th Grade

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Thankful
People have to be thankful for some things. Of course, I am thankful for a lot of things as well. Some of those things are family and friends. One of the things I am most thankful for is having the opportunity to live. Not a lot of people are thankful for the life they are given whether it be from something in the past that made them sad or some bullies. I’m also thankful for our nature, including the natural disasters. People don’t see the beauty and rebirthing these disasters can bring. I am also thankful for the time and patience people give us for education. I am thankful for the man-made objects that people spent their time and money on. I am also thankful for all the love and joy I am given at home. I am also thankful for the people that plant trees and help out the poor. I am also thankful for the music I have been provided with. I am also thankful for the people who spend their time making entertainment for everyone to enjoy. I am thankful for all the people who work in the farming business. I am thankful for all the clothes I am given. I am thankful for people who own businesses so other people can get paid, including my parents. I am thankful for being able to love whoever I want. And lastly, I am thankful for the men and women who are in the military.
Lexi Rothermel

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What is the first thing you immediately think of when Thanksgiving is brought up? You may think of the turkey, the cranberry sauce, or the time spent together with your family. When you take the time to think about the holiday, the holiday is actually about being grateful for what you have. This dates back to the time of the Pilgrims.

When the Pilgrims landed in the Massachusetts area, they founded the Plymouth Colony. During the winter, most crops died, so they would have to go for a long time with little to no food, so in 1621, after a year since they first arrived, they hosted the first Thanksgiving to express their gratitude for the successful harvest by consuming the food they had farmed and harvested. Gratitude matters because it helps us understand that we are lucky to have what we currently have in the first place. Many people are not grateful for what they have because they want more. They want stuff that others have, but they don’t realize that what they have right now is already a lot and that they should appreciate what they have.

If I was asked the question of what I was grateful for, the thing on the top of my list would be my family. Of course, this is a common answer to this question, but I will explain. Millions of children around the world have lost one or both parents. They have to go through the trauma of losing the people who cared for them before they can even become adults. I am grateful to still have both of my parents alive and well because many children around the world have lost their parents.

The second item on my list of the things that I’m grateful for is that I have more than enough food to live a healthy life. Millions of children around the world aren’t getting enough to eat every day and have to go about their lives hungry. Food is an important part of your life and enough food every day can affect your life greatly. I am thankful that I get more than enough food to lead a healthy life.

It’s always important to understand that Thanksgiving isn’t just about the turkey or the cranberry sauce, it’s about the thanks we give to others in our lives. Thanksgiving originated from the Pilgrims giving thanks for the first good harvest. We should thank everyone that has helped us in our lives on Thanksgiving because that’s what Thanksgiving is all about; giving thanks.
Joshua Samson, 6th grade

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I am grateful for many things.
I am grateful for the roof above me,
For the shoes on my feet,
For the food that I eat, 
And for the bed that I sleep.

I am grateful for many things.
I am grateful for the family I have,
For the love that I’m given,
For the toys which I play, 
And for the water I drink.

Some things I am not grateful for, like bugs and mice.
The snows cold ice,
The boiling summer days,
And the mean folks, who are never pleasant to be with.

Some things bring joy to my life, 
Like my sister,
My friends,
And especially desserts. Those are enjoyable.

I am grateful for the places I go,
Like Hawaii
The park,
And here! Though we have to wear masks, I like the place.

I am grateful for the talents I have,
Like my double jointed thumbs,
My baking skills,
And my art skills, I would always draw my friends, old and new.

I am grateful for the holidays that I get,
Like Easter,
That one amazing Christmas,
And April Fools Day. I never got pranked, I was the one pranking people.

I am grateful for the things around me,
Like that printer beside me,
The candy in the “take one” jar,
And this amazing planet we call home. I wish I could see all of it.

I am grateful for the things I ride,
Like cars,
Bikes,
And rollerblades. Pillows on your butt was a common thing to do.

I am grateful for the food I eat,
Like chicken,
Cheese,
And broccoli. I never liked the flavor, but I liked eating tiny trees.

I am grateful for many things.
I am grateful for the world,
I am grateful for myself,
And for you. The amazing person that read this far. Thank you.
Isabella Borres, 6th grade

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