BEDFORD, Va. – Kind words, jokes and drawings are what’s included in the messages left by Bedford 5th graders like 10-year-old Arianna Pennix.
“I hope that they’re having fun. And that I know you get a little nervous when you go to camp but sometimes you just have to get used to it with time,” said Pennix.
Classmate Hayden Rowlett, who’s also 10 years old, shared his own message: “Roses are red. Violets are blue. My day was sunny, hope yours was too.”
These Bedford Elementary School students spent the past week writing over 100 cards for kids at Victory Junction, a camp for children with chronic illnesses, diseases or disabilities.
“They have a lot of disabilities, but they can overcome anything they put their mind to,” said Rowlett.
On Tuesday, students will greet a line of motorcyclists as they ride for a good cause: the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Revival, which will raise money and awareness for Victory Junction.
Fifth-grade teacher Shauna Saunders said it teaches her students to look past their differences.
“A lot of them don’t know other people that may have a terminal illness or a long-term illness or a disability. Some may, but a lot of them do not,” said Saunders. “So it’s just getting them to know and see them actually take pride in what they’re doing and wanting to give advice to someone else has really, really been special.”
Principal Marti Bradt said it’s a lesson in compassion and empathy.
“Generally, we all go through the same thing. We’re all going through the COVID experience. We’re all wearing masks. Kids in school are wearing masks,” said Bradt. “It just is another way to link everybody together.”
Students are also raising money for the camp. In just a week, they’ve raised nearly $200.
“Bring in as much as you want or as little as you want,” said Saunders. “Any little bit will help.”
Saunders said these kids just want to make a difference, one card at a time.