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Dear Santa: Students’ letters seek to make the world a better place

By REBECCA OLSON
Whidbey News-Times Staff reporter
December 22, 2012 · Updated 3:13 PM
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Summer Aplass holds up her letter to Santa, a project in her second-grade class at Olympic View Elementary that benefits the Make-a-Wish Foundation as well as the students’ sense of giving. / Rebecca Olson / Whidbey News-Times

When most 8-year-olds write letters to Santa, Jolly Old Saint Nick probably expects to see a number of requests for video games, bicycles, dolls or a new puppy. But from second-grade and kindergarten classes at Olympic View Elementary, Santa will receive a pleasant surprise — and so will the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Coupeville third-grader Jonathan Carroll asked Whidbey residents to help him generate 1,000 letters to Santa. The letters will be sent to Macy’s, which pledged to donate $1 per letter to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.

“It helps them to think about ways to contribute to make the world a better place rather than asking for things,” said second-grade teacher Regina Ward.

Second-grade student and excited birthday girl Summer Aplass explained the project in her own words: “It’s stuff that can really happen, what you can do to really help people for Christmas.”

Ward’s class was joined by Lori Sandberg’s second-grade class as they shared their wishes this week before sending off the letters.

“I believe I can make the world better,” each group of students said as they stood in front of the class before reading their letters to Santa aloud. They showed their letters on a projector so the entire class could see their colorful Christmas drawings.

“I hope I can help the community,” Aplass said, reading from her letter. “By making the world a better place, I can help people learn math and ride horses.”

“I believe I can make the world better by helping one another,” Lindsey Latta said.

“I believe I can make the world better by being kind to others,” Alaina Jones read from her letter.

“I believe I will make the world better by saying good things to people,” Nora Brewster said.

Other students said they will make the world better by picking up trash, helping others learn and helping kids.

“I think Santa will be so impressed with your letters,” Ward told the students after they shared. “So not only are we making the world better but we’re helping a company that helps kids, so that’s awesome.”

Below are examples of the students’ letters.

 

Dear Santa

“I believe that I can make the world better if I don’t litter or break stuff. Also I can use less stuff. I could give people smiles, respect and help.”

–Nicholas Lee

 

Dear Santa

“I believe that I can make the world a better place if I will help animals and be kind to others. I will raise money for charities to help kids. I promise to do these things to show what I believe.”

–Lydia Fisher

 

Dear Santa

“I promise to be respectful to my parents, and also to Mrs. Sandberg.”

–James Julius

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