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Wish You Well a tradition at Carver - Odessa American: ECISD

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Wish You Well a tradition at Carver

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    Students at Carver Early Education Center celebrate Wish You Well Day by sewing small cloth hearts with their parents on Thursday morning.

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Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2020 4:38 pm

An everyday ritual at Carver Early Education Center has become part of a Valentine’s Day tradition.

Students each day wish their peers well who aren’t at school letting them know they were missed, and when they return they tell them. As a part of teaching self-regulation, students sing a song, also referred to as the STAR Song, to remind themselves to stop, take a deep breath and relax, and they sing the wish you well song.

Every child knows they’re going to be thought of on days they are not in school, Principal Sherry Palmer said.

“It’s a way to build compassion. It’s a way for kids to feel missed by their classmates because every child knows that that’s going to happen every day,” Palmer said. “… So if I’m absent, I know that my classroom has (said), ‘We wish you well, Sherry,’ so when I come back I know I’ve been missed.”

Parents are invited, usually on Valentine’s Day, to show them these rituals and demonstrate how they are trying to build compassion and character in the children, Palmer said. There’s no school today (Feb. 14) so Wish You Well was held Thursday.

The parents come in and sew what they call a Wish You Well pillow with their children.

Carver has been having Wish You Well for about nine years and this is the seventh year for the Valentine’s part, Palmer said.

“It’s school wide,” she said. “It started out in one classroom eight years ago and then it was such a fabulous thing I said we’re just going to do this school wide. Everybody needs to do this so the staff has really embraced it.”

About four or five years ago, Palmer said there was a mom with addiction issues, but she was doing well. She came to school for Wish You Well and sewed a pillow with her child. Palmer was snapping pictures and took one of the mother and her child.

“Things kind of went downhill for her and by the end of school,” Palmer said. “She had fallen back into addiction and so through some circumstances and our church and those kinds of things my husband sort of connected with this mom outside of school and realized that this mom had no support system here at all, so when she fell into addiction there was no one family wise to visit her in that center.”

About the third week into her stay in rehab, Palmer said she and her husband started going to visit her and Palmer bought a framed photo from that day of the mother and her child.

The mother told Palmer that when she got to the rehab center and started unpacking, the Wish You Well heart was in her bag. She told Palmer that from the moment she held the heart in her hands within the first hour of coming to rehab, she knew she had to get better.

“Not that the pillow was any magical stuff, but it’s a connection. She made it through rehab, did really well, moved her family back to Lubbock and is president of her PTA,” Palmer said.

When parents go on a business trip, they might find the Wish You Well pillow in their bags because their children want them to know they will miss their parent.

Miguel Rueda said sewing the pillow and watching the children do their dance and sing their song was something that would help them learn, communicate with each other and feel better when they’re down. His daughter is 5-year-old Zaniyah.

“I liked it. It’s real good for the kids; something new and different for them to learn,” Daphne Rueda, said.

Christina Sanchez, mother of 5-year-old Mila Sanchez, said she always thinks it’s a good thing to participate in school activities with students.

“Even though they’re in pre-k, they learn a lot and for us to come and do activities with them as well is very well. I think it’s a good thing,” Sanchez said.

Every classroom was full of parents Thursday. Palmer said Carver has 547 students divided into morning and evening sessions.

“It’s the relationship the teachers have with the parents. I just kind of foster the environment and make sure I can find the opportunities. It’s the teachers that do this work; it’s not me,” Palmer said.

Irving Reyes, whose daughter, Daisy, attends Carver, said it’s cool to get to spend a moment with his children. He has three daughters.

He said the singing and dancing was “pretty awesome.”

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