Sheri Samson
Mr. Durham’s class at Hawthorne Elementary School wrote essays and did other activities during Nevada’s Week of Respect.

As the week of Oct. 3-7 was proclaimed as Nevada’s annual “Week of Respect” by Governor Brian Sandoval, the opportunity was embraced to support respect within schools across the state, including Mineral County’s Hawthorne Elementary School (HES).

Learning strategies and activities were designed by the teachers and staff at HES to highlight the importance of respecting one-another, with letter writing, wearing apparel in the country’s colors of red-white-and-blue, as well as including open conversations about appreciating others.

Ann Kee, secretary at the HES facility explained that the Week of Respect gave an opportunity for the elementary kids to participate in the awareness of others, while celebrating their own stance as a citizen within the United States.

“Our kids are involved in different projects depending upon their age groups, as our chance to give back to others. Some are showing respect to our military, as well as bringing an awareness to our patriotic pride,” Kee explained.

In Richard Durham’s fourth grade class, the students were writing essays about respecting others, as well as writing letters of appreciation to those that had touched them. Student Jazmin had written two letters of appreciation – one to a military person and one to a Las Vegas cop, “for being there for those people and not being scared so they could protect everyone.”

Student Jayce shared that her essay was about not bullying others, because “someone might bully you someday then you would know how much it hurts.”

Angel, another fourth grader, shared that her essay was to not judge others because you should be respectful of how everyone else feels.

Izabella wrote to “not have fear, because that is why people are bullies” but her friend Jayona wanted everyone to know that judging others was wrong, stating, “I had a lot I wanted to write about, but showing respect means you can’t judge other people, because you don’t know what they have to go through or what happens in their life.”

Many of the students shared a “Patriotic Pen” letter to thank our military, while almost all of the class’s students also wanted to include an extra thank you letter to the first responders in Las Vegas as they “helped so many people get help and get to safety or to the hospital.”

Lastly, student Jayona was insistent on wanting her brother Trevon Wachsmuth to know that she wrote him a letter of appreciation because “he always cares and helps me”, as were many of the sentiments within Durham’s classroom.

Kee also coordinated a special tribute, involving the older elementary-aged students, at the Friday evening homecoming game. An acknowledgement of our local, respected military students, including Tim Hall and Kenny Bostic was done while players and cheerleaders stood in a line holding flags. An effort entitled, “Collect your change at the game” was done by the younger students with a money bucket being passed among the attendees.