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A Presidential Response To Middle Gate’s Complimentary Quilts

Just over a month after students in Middle Gate fourth grade teacher Linda Baron’s class completed their “Complimentary Quilts 2013” project, Ms Baron received a letter from President Barack Obama.

For the Complimentary Quilts 2013 project each student in Ms Baron’s class created positive phrases for their classmates, written on small pieces of paper that were then laminated and pieced together, like a quilt. Each student received a quilt.

Ms Baron had done the Complimentary Quilts project with classes in the past, but not in recent years; she renewed it in the wake of 12/14.

The quilt project, “showed students they were cared about,” Ms Baron said.

After the project’s completion Ms Baron learned that one of her students had written a letter to the President. She then wrote a letter for the President herself, and included her student’s letter, a photo, and a newspaper article about the project.

“How we pay it forward and learning that results from giving is the real value within each quilt,” Ms Baron wrote to President Obama. “The ripple effect of the messages within each quilt is a gift to be shared with others and to ourselves as we build self esteem in every child — fundamentally necessary to prevent incidents like Newtown and Columbine in the future.”

When President Obama responded on April 2, he also included a photo of himself, a photo of the first family, and a photo and biography of Bo Obama, the Obamas’ family dog.

“This is just a quick note to let you know I was moved by your class project,” wrote President Obama. “The compassion and generosity you have shown one another represent what is best about America.

“Sometimes, terrible things happen in our country or around the world that seem almost impossible to understand,” the letter continues. “In the wake of the terrible tragedy in Newtown, all Americans grieve for the loss of 20 beautiful children and six remarkable adults, and we resolve to build a safer world in their memory. No child should ever be afraid to go to school, and I am working to make sure all classrooms are safe places to dream, discover, and grow.”

In conclusion, President Obama wrote, “The strength we have seen in your community assures us that a brighter day will come. Our country is counting on you to be the best students you can be, so set your sights high, always seek out new challenges, and know that I expect great things from you.”

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