Date Posted

A Message from President Josephine Libassi

Happy Thanksgiving All! Enjoy your holiday and celebrate the moments with family, friends, and whatever makes you happy!

What you do here at Longwood every day makes a difference!

As this teacher learned, some of the most moving lessons are taught by students. 

When Mrs. Klein told her first graders to draw a picture of something for which they were thankful, she thought how little these children, who lived in a deteriorating neighborhood, actually had to be thankful for, at least in terms of material things. She talked to them about their families, friends, pets, and some of the fun things they have done at school. 

She knew that still, most of the class would draw pictures of turkeys or of bountifully laden Thanksgiving tables. That was what they believed was expected of them.

What took Mrs. Klein aback was Douglas’s picture. Douglas was so forlorn and likely to be found close in her shadow as they went outside for recess.

Douglas’s drawing was simply this:  A hand.  Just a drawing of a hand. Obviously, but whose hand? The class was captivated by his image. “I think it must be the hand of God that brings us food,” said one student.

“A farmer,” said another, “because they grow the turkeys.”

“It looks more like a policeman, and they protect us.” “I think,” said Lavinia, who was always so serious, “that it is supposed to be all the hands that help us, but Douglas could only draw one of them.”

Mrs. Klein had almost forgotten Douglas in her pleasure at finding the class so responsive. When she had the others at work on another project, she leaned over his desk and asked him whose hand it was.

Douglas mumbled, “It’s yours, Teacher.”

Then Mrs. Klein recalled that she had taken Douglas by the hand from time to time; she often did that with the children. But, that it meant so much to Douglas …

Perhaps, she reflected, this was her Thanksgiving, and everybody’s Thanksgiving—not the material things given unto us, but the small ways that we give something to others.

(Excerpted from The Readers' Digest Editors)