Brightening the days of two Olympia West Elementary School teachers who are battling cancer was the entire grade school’s mission last Tuesday.
Approximately 300 students and staff members dawned yellow attire and gathered on the school’s baseball field to create a large mosaic-style sun by placing yellow pieces of cardstock over their heads.
Second-grade teacher Jessica Wrage said she wanted to bring the entire school together to help support third-grade teacher Sarah Alberts and fifth-grade teacher Sylvia Johanson.
“We wanted it to be something the whole school could do,” Wrage said. “We’ve done some smaller stuff from just their classes or the staff, but we thought it would be pretty special if we could do something the entire school could do. We just thought they needed a little uplifting message.”
Alberts and Johanson are currently on medical leave and did not attend the event.
“It’s a unique thing to have two teachers in the same building who have next door classrooms battling cancer,” Wrage said. “They are very special ladies to us. It’s been kind of a hard year on us.”
With students and staff arranged in the sun shape, Wrage’s husband Matt flew a drone over the group and took pictures of the mosaic sun.
Students also held signs that read, “Sending a little sunshine your way.”
Wrage had plans last week to surprise the teachers with the card and pictures from the event.
“I told my kids, ‘This will probably be something you remember for the rest of your lives.’ I can remember, while growing up, I had some students in my grade that had cancer and I remember us doing a whole school thing for them and having St. Jude come in and I don’t know why, but that clicked with me and I’ve remembered it my entire life,” Wrage said. “I’ve always been a big believer in teaching kids to be a good person (as) just as important as teaching them academically, and I just love it that we are teaching them to show kindness and show that we care about these people who are struggling. Hopefully they remember it for the rest of their lives.”