‘They truly broke my heart when I was reading them.’ Students plant wish tree, tie wishes to fence on Earth Day

Local News

There’s nothing wrong with a little magic in our lives.

Students at Neil Armstrong Elementary in Bettendorf read the “Wishtree.”

They took some inspiration from the book and decided to plant a wish tree of their own on Earth Day.

“So, today, we celebrated the reading of ‘Wishtree.’ Our whole school got together to read this story. Each student got a copy,” said the school’s teacher and librarian Colleen Gould on Thursday. “To celebrate the completion of our book, and to celebrate Earth Day, we planted a tree of our own and tied our wishes around the tree.”

Gould says the wishes ranged from serious to funny.

“In the library, we talked about the different types of wishes ’cause, in our story, Red talks about the five different types of wishes,” said Gould. “There’s grand wishes for our world, so some of our kids made wishes of world peace, or of kindness. We talked about silly wishes, and then some genuine needs. Those were the ones that truly broke my heart when I was reading them.”

Gould says she hopes to make the wish tree a yearly tradition.

“My hope is that this tree will stand here as a symbol throughout the years of kindness, acceptance and hope that students from years to come will come and make wishes,” said Gould. “Hopefully to make this tradition a yearly thing, where we can come and tie our wishes, and that kids can see this as a sign of hope for a better tomorrow.”

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