The Quill

John Hancock Charter School - November 15, 2021

Express Gratitude - From our School Counselor - Sam Grabert

Hi there to all our wonderful families,


I felt this month being November to focus on being thankful and grateful. Finding thankfulness and gratitude can often be tricky, with the world swirling around us with so much commotion and turmoil.


In a research study by Randy Sansone and Lori Sansone (2010), they found that “The word “gratitude” has a number of different meanings, depending on the context.” The official clinical definition of gratitude is “the appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself; it is a general state of thankfulness and/or appreciation” (2010). It was found that those who engaged in regular gratitude exercises were more likely to have a better mental health outlook and think more positively. So how do you exercise gratitude and thankfulness? Positive Psychology gives various ways to exercise gratitude, such as journaling, gratitude tree, and gratitude reflection. They offer a lot more ideas that can help you exercise gratitude. Below I have included some thankful and grateful quotes as well as more resources. Turning your thankful feelings into acts of gratitude will help your mental health continue to move in a positive direction when it can often be challenging to exercise thankfulness and gratitude.



“Be present in all thingings, and thankful for all things.” ~ Maya Angelou


“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” ~ Henri Fredric Amiel


“When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others.” ~ Dalai Lama


Resources & References


Mindful Activities for practicing gratitude:

https://mindfullittles.org/mindful-activities-grow-gratitude-practice/?gclid=CjwKCAiA1aiMBhAUEiwACw25MW2TjndDEfWybAASfPenVbSSRAujPF2uyNp9Kd41zmRUKQzQbQpV9RoC60EQAvD_BwE


13 Popular Gratitude Exercises and Activities

https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-exercises/


Simple mindful gratitude exercises

https://www.mindful.org/a-simple-mindful-gratitude-exercise/



Sansone, R. A., & Sansone, L. A. (2010). Gratitude and well being: the benefits of appreciation. Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)), 7(11), 18–22.

How to Talk with Kids about Gratitude

Renaissance Feast

  • 5th - 8th grade students
  • November 23
  • Lunch is served
  • Volunteers still needed to bring food items or serve (please come in costume to serve)
  • Students are asked to bring a simple costume to school that day to wear to the feast.


The costumes do not have to be elaborate. They can be a skirt with a flowing shirt or a simple tunic for the boys.

Message from the PTO

Dear Parents, Family, and Friends of John Hancock Charter School,

As constant as the sun rising in the sky, for the past 6 years we’ve started our school year with a

super awesome, best-time-you’ve-ever-had fundraiser. One that makes you sad when it is over

and you realize it will be another year before you are asked for money again. It’s because of this

direct donation fundraiser that we don’t ask your children to sell popcorn or wrapping paper

throughout the year. We’ve been so fortunate over the years to receive generous donations from

you and we’ve used those funds to support many needs at the school through the years. This

year we started the school year without a fundraiser and many of you who look forward to it

have been wondering, “What gives? Why haven’t you been harassing us for money? Are the

Fat Boy sales coming back???!!!”

It turns out there are a couple of main reasons for there not being a big fundraising push this year.

As many of you know, a majority of the funds we raise have been used to support the orchestra

program at the school. Through your donations, we’ve provided the funds to purchase new

instruments, replace aging instruments and provide needed repairs and upkeep. With the orchestra

not being held for most of last year, we didn’t end up using nearly as many funds as we were

anticipating. There were also far fewer field trips and needs in the classroom. This means that

we started the school year with a budget carried over from last year and since we don’t want to

fundraise just for the fun of it, (though we all agree that it is good fun) we decided to not do a

major fundraising campaign in September like we normally do.

Another reason why we haven’t fundraised this year is due to the support of our fence ad

companies. Those banners hanging on the fence in front of our school represent companies

that have donated to our school in return for advertising on a well-traveled road. We have had

more companies than usual purchasing banner space in the past couple of years and we are

appreciative of their donations. Part of the funds from banner ads provided the awesome

carnival we enjoyed together last month.

Rest assured, there are still needs at the school and we are working with faculty and staff to

identify the best ways to support the school. We are planning on showing our love for the

teachers and staff during teacher appreciation week, we’re lining up an awesome reading

month, we are supporting the library and the art program and we are happy for chances to

support more field trips this year. When we are entrusted with donations we take the

disbursement of those funds very seriously. Those of you who are in the habit of donating to the

school every year (and maybe count on it for your taxes) please know that you can still make

donations at any time, even outside of a typical fundraising period. There is a permanent link on

the school website (under parent central - donate now) along with a description of some of the

many things that PTO funds are used to support. Another way to donate would be to purchase

an item in the silent auction we will be having with products from the company Dark Energy. For

several years now they have donated hundreds of dollars worth of products for us to sell, with

all of the proceeds going to the school. They are continuing that support with donations this year

so watch for future emails and posts with details on how to purchase some of their products.

They make great gifts.


A final suggestion for those looking for extra ways to support the school would be to spoil your

teachers. We have amazing teachers and there are often needs in the classroom that comes out

of their own pockets, such as student incentive items. Most of the teachers have Amazon wish

lists and we are getting together a list of those links so you can look through the lists and see if

there is something you would consider buying for your child’s classroom in lieu of a PTO

donation this year.

Thank you all for your support of the PTO through the years. We enjoy being part of the John

Hancock community with you.

Candidates for the JHCS Board of Directors

McKay Ballard

My name is McKay Ballard and I would like to serve on the John Hancock Charter School Board of Directors. I feel I bring a valuable skill set and perspective that will be beneficial to the school. I have the unique experience of being a parent of a child attending the school and being a previous student.


I enjoyed my educational experience at John Hancock Charter School and now we drive from Orem to ensure my own child receives the same care I received. I also run my own business which has given me insights and knowledge that I believe could add value to the board.

Melissa Heppler

My name is Melissa Heppler. My family lives in Orem, and I have two John Hancock graduates and one adorable attendee. I started on the board my first year in the community and have deeply enjoyed being involved. In the past I have worked for a local webhosting company, and have a passion for technology and the internet. I am currently pursuing a degree in Applied Technology from BYU Idaho. I have three lovely girls who inspire me to be my best.

I’m running for Parent Liaison for the John Hancock Charter School Board. I have enjoyed being involved in the PTO and communicating between the board and our parents. I would love to continue to present parent’s feelings and ideas to the board. I’m extremely interested in the educational process. I want to work on increasing transparency between the parents at JHCS and the Board. I would love to hear your ideas on how to improve. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the school.

John Hancock Charter School

Spread the word about our amazing school! It is time to sign up for the lottery for the fall of 2022. Tell your family and friends to go to www.johnhancockcs.org and fill out an intent to enroll form NOW!