Bear Essentials

Teddy bears are a common accessory in the bedrooms of young children. But, how about in schools? In Windsor pre-k classrooms, the answer is, ‘Yes’.

“We’ve noticed a lot more students using comfort items, so I thought it was a perfect fit for these kids,” said Bell Elementary school counselor Lori Fisher.
All of Windsor’s pre-k students recently enjoyed a teddy bear party, where they received a copy of the book, My Friend Bear, and the bears themselves. Each bear came with a pouch for a wishing star, and a birth certificate so the students could name the bears.

“I named it Cindy. Cindy is a pretty name,” said Bell pre-k student Kylie Kuratnik.

“One of the students said, ‘This is the best day ever,’” said Fisher.

Windsor Key Club provided wishing star teddy bear parties for the Pre-K classes in all three Windsor elementary schools after Key Club President Alexandra DiGennaro won a $1,000 grant from Key Club International.
“I thought kids who experienced something traumatic could use help and see the community cares about them,” said DiGennaro.

“The club members are excited to provide this program and a ‘tea party’ after having to delay for a year due to COVID restrictions,” said Key Club advisor Karen Brey.

Teachers appreciated the opportunity to incorporate lessons from the book into the teddy bear giveaway.

“This is a great connection with literacy,” said Weeks Elementary pre-k teacher Jennifer Bennett. “It’s important for students to know that there is always a friend for them. That’s even more important for them to know this year.”
“The book is about friendship, caring for one another, and being aware of others’ feelings. We’ll come back to this story many times,” said Bell Elementary pre-k teacher Karri Kaminsky. “It makes my heart smile. They were so excited. It was great that they could play with them at school and then have them to take home to share.”

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