EHMS Students Make Wishes for Change
Posted on 05/26/2022
Wishing Trees at EHMS

EHMS Students Make Wishes for Change


Meaningful change can come from a simple wish. That’s what 7th grade students at East Hartford Middle School (EHMS) are learning.

In their Language Arts classes, they read the book Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. The book is narrated by a Northern Red Oak tree named Red. Red is a Wishtree and every year on “Wishing Day” people in the neighborhood tie their wishes to Red’s branches, hoping they will come true.

“It’s a story about a community coming together,” said Laura Guerrera, 7th grade teacher at EHMS.

The EHMS community held its own Wishing Day on May 20. Each 7th grader made three wishes and tied them to three trees outside the school.

The first wish was a personal wish. One student wished for a new cell phone. Another wished to be better at writing.

The second wish was a wish for their school. One 7th grader wished students wouldn’t stop in the hallways.

“I would wish that 95% of all students get A’s in every class no matter what they do,” wrote another student.

Finally, the third wish was a wish for the community. These wishes identified issues such as food insecurity, poverty and racism.

“I wish that homeless people at least get an opportunity to work at a place,” wrote one student.

Another simply wrote, “Peace!”

Teachers say this is an opportunity for students to identify the challenges they see within themselves, their school and their community and to work toward solutions.

“It’s one thing just to wish for something in your mind and want that change to happen, but these kids are our future. And they’re the ones that are going to make those changes happen,” said Guerrera.  “I want them to start now, working together, discussing it. And hopefully one day they’re going to be the voices that change what we need changed.”