Published December 23, 2020
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — Appreciation goes a long way, especially this time of year.
In order to thank educators for going above and beyond during a challenging year, Lynnfield High School students organized a Candy Cane Grams fundraiser for teachers across the district earlier this month. LHS Student Council President Ava O’Brien said in an email sent to the Villager that the council and the Lynnfield Class of 2021 organized the Candy Cane Grams fundraiser in order to thank educators for all of their hard work.
“A Candy Cane Gram is a candy cane with a note attached to it written by the parents and students who purchased them so they can let their teachers know how much they appreciate everything they are doing,” said O’Brien. “We wanted to let all of the teachers and faculty know that all of their hard work is appreciated at this time.”
LHS Senior Class Council President Kiera Burns agreed.
“The Candy Cane Grams are little messages that parents, students and fellow faculty members have written for specific faculty members in the Lynnfield Public Schools’ system,” said Burns. “Our Student Council members are writing out each note on a note card. We are attaching the note to a candy cane for an additional sweet treat and a spice of holiday cheer.”
Burns said the LHS Student Council and the Class of 2021 decided to undertake the fundraiser in order to show their appreciation for the school system’s teachers.
“Since this year is so different than past years, we wanted to incorporate some of the traditions we usually do at the high school,” said Burns. “We wanted to show our appreciation for the teachers and the faculty for everything they have done for us as students this year.”
In order to undertake the fundraiser, Burns said a Google form was sent out so that people could order Candy Cane Grams for teachers with “no need for in-person interactions.”
“Our Student Council members made a Candy Cane Gram for every Lynnfield faculty member in addition to any that was purchased for them,” said Burns. “I hope these teachers feel so appreciated and so proud of what they have done. While this year has not been easy for anyone, I can’t imagine how hard it has been on teachers, especially with our schools going in-and-out of full remote and our hybrid schedule. These teachers are so special and are doing so much for us. It is important that they know that, especially this time of the year.”
O’Brien said there were 500 Candy Cane Grams purchased for teachers at all four schools.
“We hope that teachers know how much we appreciate all of their hard work and to keep it up,” said O’Brien.
Burns noted that the fundraiser took off after it was posted on the Lynnfield Community Group Facebook page.
“We received lots of positive feedback from many members of our community,” said Burns. “Parents and students were so excited for a chance to do something special for their favorite teachers this holiday season.”
O’Brien said the Student Council and the Class of 2021 have received “so many thank you messages for organizing this fundraiser.”
“A lot of people have been super generous by buying Candy Cane Grams for their favorite teachers,” said O’Brien.
Burns thanked Student Council Vice President Jenna Brodigan and representatives Genna Gioioso, Maggie Ozanian and Keely Briggs as well as Class of 2021 Vice President Mike Dreher and representatives Jake Soriano, Emily Goguen, Makayla Greene and Kiran Lampert for helping her and O’Brien make the Candy Cane Grams.
“Ava and I could not have made all of them without their help,” said Burns.
Burns said she hopes the Candy Cane Grams fundraiser will become a new Lynnfield tradition.
“Even though this fundraiser was made as an alternative to the original fundraisers at the high school because of this crazy year, we hope that it will be carried out in future years as it has had such a positive response from the community,” said Burns. “It is always important to thank our teachers. Hopefully in the coming years when things are easier, this can become more of a community effort and we can get all of the Lynnfield Public Schools’ students involved.”
“We hope to make this an annual event and pass it on to the next class,” said O’Brien.
School Committee Chairman Jamie Hayman called the Candy Cane Grams fundraiser “awesome” during last week’s meeting.
“Our teachers are working really hard right now,” said Hayman. “It seems like a small thing, but all of the little things add up. It’s a great way to support them, the Student Council and the senior class.”