BELTON, Texas — For the second year in a row, students at Belton Middle School will be getting a very special treat -- handwritten letters from their teachers.
The now annual tradition started at the conclusion of last year, the first year the school opened its doors.
"I think it’s nice to put words on paper, they are a little more permanent for kids," Megan Hammonds, a 7th grade English Language Arts teacher said.
Principal Stacie Seveska said writing small notes is something she used to do as a basketball coach.
"So I had one particular student that came back about five years later and they showed me the little note that was kind of all crumpled up and their wallet and told me that they had taken it everywhere they went since I gave it to them," Principal Seveska said.
She decided to incorporate it at Belton Middle School to make students feel welcome. Each student will receive at least two letters from their teachers. Eighth-grader Canaan Hammonds loved the one he got last year.
"I was really honored that the teachers took the time to write these letters for all of us who made me realize they are not just here for a paycheck but they are here to build relationships with students," Canaan Hammonds said.
He said it's still something he reflects back on from time to time.
"I still have both of the time they are still in the drawer in my desk at home. So I still look back at them every once in a while," Canaan Hammonds said.
Megan Hammonds said it warmed her heart to see students' reactions.
"[The student] cried many times at the end of the year and got lots of hugs because she said, 'I didn't know you knew that about me,'' Hammonds said.
And as emotional as it is for the students to read the notes, for the teachers the impact of writing them is just as strong.
"We are all here to let these kids know that we deeply care about them. There are people that are here to invest in them and invest in their futures and we just want to show them that we want them to be successful," journalism teacher Rebecca Pattrick said.
The letters will be included in students' awards day folders next week.