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Local elementary school teacher meeting more than student's educational needs

Local elementary school teacher meeting more than student's educational needs

People in the field of education will tell you that teaching children is about so much more than what's in the books or on the computer.

Sometimes, it's being a social worker, a friend, a partner - an Angel in our Midst.

"Her name is Mrs. Wood and she's the best teacher ever," said kindergartner Justin Williams Jr.

Carrie Wood is so much more than a kindergarten teacher at Pleasant Grove Elementary. She is an example of the many educators and support staff who go above and beyond. There's nothing textbook about the compassion they bring to the profession.

"That's what I do. If I see something that needs to be done and if I'm able to do it, then I'm going to do it," she said.

Three years ago, Mrs. Wood noticed a large collection of jackets that students had lost over time. With so many children in need, she knew what she had to do.

"Those jackets, they are lost and found. They're supposed to be found by people who left them," Justin said.

"I took them home and washed them and brought them back up here, folded them up and made room in my office for them," she said.

That's where any child can now come for something warm to wear. Mrs. Wood is always listening and watching for the unspoken needs. There was a grandmother who suddenly had custody of four grandchildren. A conference about one child's school work let her know that there were stresses in that home.

"I went over to the house and I saw for myself the conditions that they were living in," she said.

They didn't have food and that they didn't have beds to sleep on.

She emailed her co-workers and her network of friends and got food, beds, and personal care items into that home. A grandmother had some relief. Four little ones had food in their stomachs and a place to lay their heads. Mrs. Wood, it was just another good day at Pleasant Grove.

"She's just so resourceful. She will find what those people need and she takes it as a challenge and makes it happen for them," said Pleasant Grove Elementary Assistant Principal Julie Pearson.

"I think it all goes back to my dad. My dad, you know, raised five kids all on his own," Mrs. Wood said. "I saw him with a strong work ethic, always out there working hard for all of us, making sacrifices. And always doing his very best and not looking the other way when it came to a challenge."

The stories are endless. On any given day, Mrs. Wood and all of the Angels in our schools go above and beyond to meet those challenges that their children face.

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by Nemours Children's Specialty Care.

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