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Schools Rule: St. Johns first graders bring joy to nearby senior

School Rule: Showtime for a special friend
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 7:20 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - For a lot of people, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, but for others, it can be an especially lonely time.

When a group of first grader students at Gateway North Elementary School in Saint Johns found out someone they knew would be alone on Christmas, they wanted to change that.

He’s known by the community as Mr. French and he’s loved by all who pass him. He lives near Gateway North Elementary School, where students pass his smiling face.

When the weather changed, he was no longer able to wave to the students.

“He had lost his wife,” said teacher Jennifer Smith. “And now, with the colder months, he’s not able to sit outside in his lawn chair. He was missing his friends as they passed by.”

That’s when Smith and her first grade class had an idea -- they quickly got together with their music teacher Shirley Reese and started practicing.

“It simply started with some letters and coloring of some pages. We made some ornaments and I would simply drop them off in his mailbox,” Smith said.

And soon enough, they put on an entire Christmas concert just for Mr. French.

“It brought a lot of joy to the students as well as Mr. French and his family,” Smith said. “The students could not wait until they could actually sing.”

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