As you’ve read, Harrisburg Academy hosted a food drive in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving in an effort to help those in need. Later this year, we’ll come together as an entire school community to raise money for our school and again, for hungry families close to home and abroad in our Feed the Need project (more to come soon on this!). This theme of giving is something we are featuring more and more throughout the year, for hunger and many different causes.

Last month, our school counselor, Courtney Hart, gave the Upper School students a gratitude challenge. We are grateful for our own blessings, and there is always an opportunity to show gratitude and pass that spirit along to our students! I asked my 6th grade health class about the things for which they are grateful, and it didn’t take them long to write them down!

The students mention being grateful for so many things: their families and pets (even the dumb dog), for being able to celebrate holidays, their homes, for food and water, their friends, the ability to play sports and other games, the creation of gymnastics, traveling with their families, the Academy and education (the ability to read and write), for libraries, for hospitals and insurance, for a safe, secure, and rich country, for our governmental protection, for Grandpa who came from France to America, and for their parents who support them at musicals, sports, games, and more.

One student expressed being thankful for a good education at this phenomenal private school and with great teachers and nice supplies that prepare us in every aspect for college and life.

“I appreciate a healthy life because I hear and see many sick and troubled people in this world, and I am lucky and so grateful for a healthy life,” said another student.

One student wrote that she is thankful for her rights, and that there is no racism or limited women’s rights like in the past; that today, people are treated equally. She is thankful for the people in our history who worked to change things for our present and future times.

Sixth graders — 11- and 12-year-olds! — gave these insightful answers. Sometimes… teachers teach the lessons and sometimes…. the students teach the lessons. We all have something to be grateful for, and we don’t have to buy it or look very far to appreciate it.

Learn more about Harrisburg Academy on our school website.