Teaches Important Life Lesson
Madison County High School’s Family and Consumer Science’s national organization FCCLA (Family, Careers, Community Leaders of America) visited the Greenwood School out of Jasper, to spread a little Christmas cheer over the holidays.
Robin Smith, the high school’s current Family and Consumer Science teacher, said the organization has visited Greenwood for over 35 years and was started out of a need to serve children with disabilities. Smith recalled, “Many years ago the Greenwood school served kids from Hamilton, Madison and other surrounding counties for students with disabilities. One of the ladies that worked at the school established a relationship with Mrs. Walker, the advisor for FCCLA at the time, and through this friendship, an awareness for the needs of students at the Greenwood school became known to the chapter, and they began looking for ways to meet those needs.”
Students at the school range in ages from primary grades through Senior High and vary in their limitations, but none of that mattered when the high schoolers visited the school loaded with party treats and gifts from Santa’s bag. The two school’s students sang Christmas carols, singing together, songs such as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. The Greenwood students became extra excited when the song, Here Comes Santa Claus played, because they already knew the song meant the arrival of the Jolly Old Elf himself.
MCHS students purchased gifts for selected students, chosen from a list provided by Greenwood, in order for the presents to be developmentally appropriate for their chosen child. After helping unwrap gifts, the FCCLA students played with the Greenwood students, giving them one-on-one time; an interaction that is normally limited for the students on a daily basis.
Some memorable moments from the visit, according to Smith, were watching high schoolers, some who had never visited the school before, react and respond to the children at Greenwood. One freshman just sat and watched his student color with crayons and coloring book the entire visit, while another had fun being wrapped up like a present with his child, but the most endearing may have been the senior who wiped tears from his eyes when they were told it was time to leave.
Conversation after the visit centered on how the children at the Greenwood school had the power to show the rest of the world how to live life. They reminded the FCCLA that we shouldn’t be dwelling on what we don’t have or what we can’t do, or what’s wrong with our lives, but instead, we should be focusing on the moment; the joy of receiving attention, having the shiniest wrapping paper or simply, having the ability to hold someone’s hand without a word endlessly.