- El Paso Independent School District
Barron teacher receives letters from President Biden, Vice President Harris
President Joe Biden’s presidency may only be hours old, but he’s already made an impression on kindergarten students at Barron Elementary School.
Teacher Martha Tavarez wrote to then President-Elect Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden shortly after the election to congratulate him on behalf of her and kindergarteners. She sent the letter after a lesson on the presidential election, which included a mock election among her students. Biden responded with his letter on an official Office of the President-Elect seal.
“I received your letter and wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your kind words,” he wrote. He continued his letter with many of the messages of his vision for the future and how he remains “heartened by the spirit and resilience of the American people.” He ended it with: “Thanks again for writing, Martha. For keeping the faith in us and in the country we love, I am forever grateful to you.”
Tavarez also told the Bidens about her famous Proud Moment corner and included a letter from Vice President Kamala Harris. The collection includes letters penned by Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Melania Trump.
“I talk to the kids about the letter and they give me ideas of what to write,” she said. “My students are excited when we get responses from people we send letters to. It teaches them that their voice matters.”
Her first letter project was a letter to President Obama in 2015 after the Charlottesville shooting. Later, Tavarez and her students sent get-well cards to Barbara Bush, but she died prior to receiving them.
“Her husband President George Bush and her son President George W. Bush wrote us a letter and sent us the funeral cards,” Tavarez said. “I also have one from First Lady Melania Trump. My kids sent her a get-well card. She wrote that she appreciated that the kids took the time to think about her.”
The kindergarteners sent drawings and little notations to convey their messages and well wishes to Bush and also to the McCain family when Sen. John McCain passed.
“They are just saying, that their hearts are with them. The kids need to see the littlest thing can make someone happy,” Tavarez said. “I want to make their heart happy and they need to make other people’s heart happy and start a trend.”
Tavarez wrote the letter to Vice President Harris in the summertime after hearing her talk about the importance of education. She plans on working with the class to write to both President Biden and Vice President Harris to get a letter with their official Presidential seals.
Photo by Leonel Monroy Jr.