Chart helps Cascade school’s staff be grateful

Additions continue to be made during the school year

CASCADE — At the start of the school year, Aquin Elementary School Principal Vicki Palmer asked members of her staff to think about all they were grateful for.

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“Sometimes in the busyness of the day it’s easy to lose sight of how very fortunate we are,” said Palmer.

Staff members were asked to write down things they were grateful for. It didn’t have to be about school. Many listed their family, children, good health and so on. The list was endless. The grateful chart was hung in the workroom of the school, so all staff could read it or add their own thoughts whenever they wanted.

Palmer noted, “Being grateful changes who you are and how you look at the world. If you are having a bad day, and you read the grateful chart, you look at things differently, suddenly you feel a bit more blessed. One comment written by someone can change everything. If it changes you then it changes the work place, then it changes how we view our students and co-workers. It’s all good.”

That idea caught the attention of St. Thomas Aquinas Pastorate Associate Jean Conrad and Shellie Schlemme, the pastorate’s administrative assistant. The staff decided to create poster boards, so all the parishioners in the pastorate could write something they were grateful for when they entered or left church. The posters were then displayed at the back of church, so those entering could see all those things that people were grateful for.

Conrad said, “It was very well received, and the focus was more about what we have versus what we don’t have.”

All ages participated in this. Being grateful doesn’t have to stop when church is over or the school day has ended. There are many ways we can think about being grateful. It can become part of your mealtime prayer or nighttime rituals at home. You can hang a grateful chart on your child’s bedroom door, and let them read all the things you are grateful for about them. What child, spouse or parent wouldn’t want to read those special thoughts every day? The Aquin staff continues to add to the grateful chart each day, as there is always something to be grateful for.

PHOTO: Staff at Aquin Catholic School in Cascade wrote things they were grateful for on the chart above. (Contributed photo)

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