Legacy teacher pens more than 800 letters to students

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Courtesy Photo | Legacy Elementary art teacher Allison Quinlan penned more than 800 letters to her students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Bossier art teacher found a heartwarming way to let her students know that even though she won’t be seeing them every day in her classroom, she is thinking about them.

Quinlan

Allison Quinlan teaches Art for the students in grades Pre-K through 5th grade at Legacy Elementary School. 

While on spring break, she and her students learned that the school district made the call to stop sending kids to school until Mar. 31. At that time she thought about writing letters to her students. 

“I wanted to do something to stay connected with the students. We left for what we thought would be a one week break for Spring Break and then we never returned. I just wanted to reach out and let them know that I missed them and that I was thinking about them just to stay connected,” said Quinlan.

But when the district extended the date to Apr. 16, she decided to write the letters.

“When they extended the date to April 16th I knew what I wanted to do, so I ordered colored note cards and envelopes and when they came in on Mar. 30.  I began writing. I ordered my stamps online and ran to Office Depot for curbside pickup. It took me almost two weeks to write them and get them to the post office on Apr. 11,” said Quinlan.

While writing the letters, Quinlan says it gave her time to think about each of her students individually.

“As I wrote the letters, I genuinely felt so happy, It gave me time to think about each one of them and just reflect on those relationships that we have built over the years,” said Quinlan.

Since sending her letters, Quinlan says she has received many heartfelt messages back from her students, including a very special “air hug.”

“I started receiving letters back immediately! As of today’s date I have received about 20 letters via mail, about the same amount of emails, text messages, Facebook posts and even one special delivery. My doorbell rang and when I opened the door I noticed a bundt cake on my doorstep. I looked up to the sweetest little boy hanging out of his mom’s car that was parked in my driveway waving to me! We exchanged “air” hugs from a distance,” Quinlan said.

“There really aren’t any words to describe how I feel about their responses other than overwhelmed….it never was my intention to be recognized for any of this much less receive any attention or responses back from them! It truly is heartwarming,” she added.

For her students, Quinlan has a message for all of them during this confusing and difficult time.

“I would like parents and students to know that we are all learning through these times together. It’s all uncharted grounds for all of us and that it’s not easy. That is why I feel it is so important for those connections and relationships that we’ve formed to continue. My hope is that we will come through these times with even stronger connections and relationships with our students and their families,” Quinlan said.

“I have taught at Legacy Elementary since it opened and feel very strongly that we have something special between our faculty and staff and the relationships we have with our students and their families. It is something special for sure! Our principal, Kimmie Smith, promotes close family connections with our Legacy staff members and our students. It truly takes a village to raise them and we feel blessed to be a small part of their village,” she added.