11/23/05 — School keeps injured students in thoughts

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School keeps injured students in thoughts

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on November 23, 2005 1:51 PM

For students at Greenwood Middle School, Thanksgiving has a more personal note this year.

They are worried about their classmates -- and thankful one of them is coming home.

Carson Thomas and Mackenzie Wessels were injured Friday when a man driving an SUV struck them as they crossed the street on their way to class, according to police reports.

School officials said students at Greenwood have demonstrated tremendous poise and strength in these hard times, and have found various ways to support their classmates while they receive treatment at Pitt Memorial Hospital.

"I continue to be amazed by the resiliency of people," said Larry Dean, Greenwood's principal.

Some designed "get well" cards and signed large banners. Others wrote poetry and journal entries. One drew a picture dedicated to his friends.

This week, almost all wore stickers, bearing pictures of Carson and Mackenzie above a simple message with red hearts on either side -- "Carson and Mac, you are in our thoughts and prayers. We love you."

Amy Howell, a Greenwood teacher who works with all grade levels, had more than 600 stickers printed on Monday for students, faculty and parents.

By Tuesday morning, all of them were gone, she said, most on jackets and sweatshirts, a few on notebooks, hats and cars parked outside the school.

Mrs. Howell said she came up with the idea to give the school community a way to get behind the boys, to show their support in a time when prayer and time did the healing.

"It was something we could do to involve all the kids," she said. "For Carson and Mac."

The design, she said, came from the heart.

School counselor Selena Bennett added that students seem to be feeling better about the accident, setting aside sadness for hope.

"The children know they are supported," she said. "We have had tremendous support from other schools and from the base."

Mackenzie's homeroom teacher, Mural Lanier, said the students have rallied behind their classmates, throwing themselves into positive projects. It's the way Mac would want things to be, she said.

"He would not want us continue to dwell on the negative," she said. "That's the kind of child Mac is."