Willmar Area Learning Center students write letters of support to Ukrainian teachers and students – West Central Tribune

0

WILLMAR – A pin drop could be heard in the spacious classrooms of the Regional Learning Center on Wednesday afternoon in Willmar, as students put pencils to paper to write letters of support to teachers and students in a War-torn Ukraine.

Willmar Region Learning Center Counselor Sharon Tollefson holds a letter written by a student to teachers and students in Ukraine Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

As Russian forces continue to invade Ukraine, Willmar students and teachers felt they could do some good to help those going through so much hardship. With the help of Willmar Middle School teacher Oleksandr Vovchenko from Ukraine, they found a way to improve the situation on the other side of the world.

Communication and English teacher Kerrie Speer explains the importance of letters to teachers and students in Ukraine to her senior students at the Area Learning Center on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.
Communication and English teacher Kerrie Speer explains the importance of letters to teachers and students in Ukraine to her senior students at the Area Learning Center on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 in Willmar.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Each student at the Regional Learning Center had the opportunity to participate in writing the letter. Once completed, they were given to Vovchenko, who took photos of the letters and sent them digitally to teachers and students in Ukraine.

“We want to start a dialogue,” Kerrie Speer, an English and communications teacher at the Area Learning Center, told her senior students. “We not only try to improve ourselves, but to improve others around us in need.”

Tenth grade student Dominic Blayon writes his letter to Ukrainian teachers and students during a class at the Area Learning Center on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.
Tenth grade student Dominic Blayon writes his letter to Ukrainian teachers and students during a class at the Willmar Area Learning Center on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

“The kids have felt a lot; they’ve seen the news, they know what’s going on,” said Sharon Tollefson, counselor at the area’s learning center.

Tollefson added that words of encouragement can go a long way, and something as simple as a short letter can mean a lot to the recipient on the other end. If students wish, they can add their email addresses to the letters in case those in Ukraine would like to respond and be pen pals.

Tenth grader Dominic Blayon writes his letter to Ukrainian teachers and students during a class at the Area Learning Center on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Steve Burrows' classroom.
Tenth grader Dominic Blayon writes his letter to Ukrainian teachers and students during class at the Willmar Area Learning Center on Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Steve Burrows’ classroom.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Since the region’s learning center is part of the Advancement Through Individual Determination program in the district, this activity helps achieve that goal, Tollefson said. AVID serves as a college and career readiness program for life after school.

“Part of the AVID program is that we want our kids to participate in community events and we want them to start thinking more globally as well,” Tollefson said. “We want them to start thinking about other people and what they can do for other people. We just felt it would be a good thing to do.”

Share.

Comments are closed.