Students ‘Pay It Forward’ to emergency responders

Post date: Feb 27, 2015 1:57:40 PM

In line with the school’s core values, students at Wells Elementary School this winter have been practicing what is known as “paying it forward”, selfless, random acts of kindness toward one another in the WES community. To understand that it is often better to give than to receive, students, in class, have been giving gifts of appreciation; simple gifts that they have created including poems, drawings or something from a craft project.

To pay it forward in a wider community sense, WES held an assembly February 10th for several area police officers and firefighters from Wells and Ogunquit. Students and staff wanted to show appreciation to these professionals for the work that they do to keep the communities safe.

“I thought this was a great opportunity to recognize the police and fire departments in both town,” said one of the assembly’s organizers teacher Melissa Stapleton. “We are a community of both Wells and Ogunquit and it was important to recognize all organizations.”

Several students spoke to the guests and the officers, including Wells Police Chief Jo-Ann Putnam, took questions from the audience.

“I really think the ‘Pay It Forward’ project was a great idea for the kids to participate in,” commented Chief Putnam. “I am very pleased and would like to thank all of them for choosing the Wells and Ogunquit police and fire departments to recognize. Any time we get the opportunity to interact with the young children in a positive manner like this it benefits all of us.”

Towards the end of the assembly, each guest received a white gift basket filled with items donated by parent volunteers from the classrooms of Melissa Stapleton, Beth Bush, and Amy Sevigny. “We are so fortunate to have such generous parent volunteers,” commented Stapleton.

“Our students are naturally caring and giving,” commented Beth Bush. “By teaching students to ‘Pay It Forward’, our hope is it will be a lesson they will remember for the rest or their lives.”

Caption: Standing with students from left to right are Sgt. Mike Faia (Ogunquit Police), Ogunquit Fire Chief Mark O’Brien, Lt. Gerald Congdon (Wells Police), Sgt. Kevin Chabot (Wells Police), K-9 Jagger (Wells Police), Police Chief Jo-Ann Putnam (Wells Police), Patrolman Chris Baez (Wells Police) and Captain Dan Moore (Wells Fire Dept.)

Caption: Wells Police Chief Jo-Ann Putnam fielding questions from students to other officers present at the “Paying It Forward” assembly at Wells Elementary School on February 10th.