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At Truesdell, 'Teddies, Not Tears'

Teachers at Truesdell Education Campus, the pre-K- through 8 school in Northwest's Brightwood Park neighborhood, constantly invoke the "Four Cs" for their kids: "Courage" "Curiosity," "Consideration" and "Cooperation." At Thursday morning's honors assembly, third- and fourth-graders added an "E" for empathy, in the form of 130 teddy bears and other stuffed animals, stacked in the gym and ready for shipment to children in Haiti.

The "Teddies, Not Tears" service project is led by Audrey Childs, Truesdell's third- and fourth- grade team coordinator, who started by having students study the effects of earthquakes and then learn some relevant vocabulary. There was also poetry, and assignments to write reports about Haiti and its people. Finally, the teddy bears. The plan is to ship as many as they can--the goal is 200--by the end of next week to a New York charity, K.I.D.S (Kids in Distressed Situations), which will forward them to Port-au-Prince. IMG00104.jpg

Childs recalls that after 9/11, some D.C. schools received boxes of teddy bears from children in the Midwest "in the hopes that if our kids were scared, they could have a stuffed friend to soothe and calm them."

Truesdell's kids are writing letters to accompany the bears. This is from fourth-grader Jennifer Hernandez:

Dear Friend:

How are you doing? I'm sorry you lost your home. Even though you don't know me, you're still my friend. I wish you didn't have an earthquake. Just don't give up hope for yourself. Do you like playing sports? I do. I like playing soccer a lot. usually I play with my friends and family in the summer. So anyway enjoy the stuffed animal you could keep for the rest of your life.

Hope from a friend,
Jennifer Hernandez

If you're interested in contributing, you can contact Childs through Truesdell at 202-576-6202 or by e-mail at

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By Bill Turque  |  March 5, 2010; 9:25 AM ET
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Once again, thank you for reporting positives in DCPS. There are many and our children deserve that.

Posted by: candycane1 | March 5, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

What a great story!!!Wish it were on the front page for a month....the Teddy Bear and children's empathy are such great examples of hope.

Posted by: PLMichaelsArtist-at-Large | March 7, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

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