Retired Clermont teachers applaud young writers

Lynsey Kennedy and vice president of the Retired Teachers Association, Joan Ballbach.
Third graders in Clermont County had an opportunity to praise their grandparents or other influential person in their lives thanks to an essay writing competition sponsored by the Clermont County Retired Teachers Association.

Thirty-three teachers from around the county participated by having their students write about what their grandparents (or others) meant to them in a letter addressed to the association. This gave the children an opportunity to think about why they care about their grandparents or role models and express their thoughts using correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Letter writing is a skill that is taught at the third grade level. Many of the third graders wrote of favorite activities with their grandparents such as cooking, fishing, and traveling.

Grandparents read them bedtime stories, go to their games to support them, and when they don’t see them for a while, one wrote “I just want to squeeze them, but I don’t.” Another wrote, “Sometimes I don’t see them but I know they are in my heart.”

Whether she is called Me-Maw, Meme, Grammy, Mamaw, Mimi, Mamal and Grannie Mae, all seem to be excellent cooks, according to the youngsters. One wrote that she could even make the food they hated taste good.

On the other hand, Per-Paw, Poppy, Paps, Papaw, Pappy, and Papa spoil them and make them smile and laugh. He is their hero.

Excerpts from the letters included comments such as “They tell me I did a good job, even if I didn’t,” “Their love heals my bruises,” My parents tell me ‘no’ but my grandparents tell me ‘yes’,” “My grandma shares everything, even her chocolates from Valentine’s Day,” “My grandma is fragile and very kind.

If you met her, you would be one of the luckiest people in the whole world,” and finally the comment from one child who summed it up beautifully by saying “It isn’t the presents or the places they take me, it’s being with them that makes me happy.”

Third grade teachers were asked to submit the three best letters from their class to the association. All of the children whose letters were selected received a certificate and a writing whiz pencil.

A committee of six retired teachers then evaluated all of the entries according to the Ohio Writing Standards for third grade and chose an over-all county winner. This winner, Lynsey Kennedy from New Richmond Elementary, received a trophy and gift card from the teachers retired association on her school’s awards day ceremony, May 27. Her teacher, Mrs. Hawkins, also received a gift card for her outstanding guidance and teaching.