Brianna Arevalo has a sweet spirit that can often be found in the tender heart of a child. The nine-year-old Ikard Elementary student had an idea - just in time for the Christmas Holiday’s. The thoughtful fourth grader wasted little before sharing her Yuletide notion with her principal, little did she know the impact it would have.
“Kids can write letters and share their ideas with me anytime,” said Christy Burton, the schools principal. “Recently, we had some children that had a drive for the local animal shelter. They collected gently used blankets, dog food....all kinds of things and delivered it all to the shelter.”
But then she received a letter from Brianna, who wanted to include a group she thought was one of the hardest working in her school, the custodial staff.
“We have between 600-650 kids everyday and we have four custodial staff members that take care of the entire building,” Burton said. “Brianna wrote this letter and really touched us. She then came to our faculty meeting and presented the idea to the teachers.”
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Burton said like any great idea it took off from there.
Brianna’s letter was quite simple and to the point.
“Dear Mrs. Burton: I have been thinking how our custodians do such a good job keeping our school clean and organized. With that in mind I was wondering if we could choose one day to appreciate them,” an excerpt from the letter read.
Brianna suggested possibly some, “sweet treats” or perhaps a few letters thanking them for their dedication.
“I thought about this because our custodians don’t get recognized a lot so I wanted to bring the idea to life,” Brianna said.
The result was profound and just before Christmas break, gift baskets were presented to the custodial staff, each custom made to each custodians individuals interest. Inside were homemade baked goods and gift cards given by faculty members. If that wasn’t enough, the gifts were given at the conclusion of a parade in the [custodial staffs] honor. Throughout the schools hallways students could be heard cheering, “Ikard Roo - cleaning crew, we love you - yes we do,” Brianna leading the way.
“They do more than clean our school,” Burton said. “They bond with our students. They are a vital integral part of our campus.”