‘Thank you for keeping our world safe’: Grade 3 students pen letters of support to Manitoba health-care workers

WINNIPEG — Following a COVID-19 exposure in their school, a group of Grade 3 students in Manitoba decided to take some control by sending their gratitude to workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.

Linda Andres, the teacher of the Grade 3 class at Happy Thoughts School in Selkirk, Man., said she was having a talk with her class about COVID-19. There had been an exposure at the school that required deep cleaning, an unsettling event for the students.

“So they are worried, they’re scared, they’re nervous about that fact that it is so close. What we talked was that when you are worried about something, ignoring your feelings doesn’t do anything for you,” Andres told CTV’s Nicole Dubé.

“The best way to deal with worry is to find a positive thing to do with it, so it gave them a positive focus – a way that they could make a difference at a time when they were feeling worried and perhaps like they didn’t have anything they could do.”

Happy Thoughts School

The group of students penned letters and digital postcards of support for health-care workers.

“I love you so much (because) my mom (works) for you. You help everybody that is (sick),” one student wrote.

“Dear health care workers, thank you for saving lives. Also thank you for keeping our world safe,” another student wrote.

Andres said she had noticed COVID-19 creeping into the student’s assignments, many times showing up in the form of monsters or villains the students had to defeat.

One student in the class aired their concerns in their message to health-care workers.

“Dear health care workers, I feel scared about (COVID-19). I think that you are the best people in the world! You can do anything you set your mind to,” they said.

Happy Thoughts School

Andres said the postcard project helped the students take some control.

“What it did spark in the classroom was a feeling from the kids that they weren’t helpless,” she said.

Andres said the digital postcards and letters were sent to local health-care workers and the regional health authority.

Happy Thoughts School

The class even got a shout out from Shared Health’s Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa on Friday during the daily COVID-19 new conference.

“These messages provide a much needed boost to staff morale, at a time when they are feeling stressed and tired, and sometimes scared,” Siragusa said. “Knowing their work is appreciated by some of our youngest Manitobans is a great motivator.”

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