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GARDEN GROVE : Schoolchildren Provide a Lesson About Kindness

In a heartwarming reversal of roles, elementary schoolteacher Joanne Bush recently received a lesson in kindness from her students.

After hearing that her father’s mountain cabin was vandalized last month, Bush’s third- and fourth-grade students at Ernest O. Lawrence Elementary School took up a collection to help pay to repair the $750 worth of damage, which included broken windows, mirrors and furnishings.

The children, many from low-income families, collected $21.50 in nickels, dimes and quarters and presented it to her.

“She had tears in her eyes,” said Sarah King, 10, who organized the collection. “It made me feel happy inside.”

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Bush told children that although she said she was touched by the gesture, she could not accept their gift. On Monday, the class donated the money to a city anti-graffiti program.

“It’s a good idea. People always make graffiti, so if we donate money, we can help clean up the mess. It would certainly make our city a better place,” said D. J. Sobrepena, 9.

After her father’s cabin in Arrowhead was vandalized in November, Bush asked him to speak to her class about being responsible citizens and describe how acts of vandalism hurt people.

Sarah and her classmates said they took the message to heart and immediately wanted to help.

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“We started collecting stuff. I told them, ‘If you want to help out, even 50 cents would help,’ ” she said.

“The gesture was phenomenal. I couldn’t believe it,” Bush said. “It’s great that we could take a bad situation and make some good come from it.”


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