Being thankful and appreciative doesn’t always come naturally to students. That’s why Jamye Jacobs-Franks, the school counselor at Leon Heights Elementary School, says it’s important to intentionally teach the concept of gratitude.
“A lot of times they take things for granted - all kids do this,” she said. “Teaching them to be able to recognize the things they are thankful for and be able to express it is important.”
Learning gratitude is a social emotional skill that touches all areas of life, Jacobs-Franks said.
“Knowing how to be grateful helps all of us interact with ourselves, our friends, at work and with our families,” she said. “Studies have linked being grateful with better health. Grateful people tend to have more joy and pleasure.”
In honor of World Gratitude Day on Sept. 21, we asked Jacobs-Franks and other Belton ISD elementary school counselors to share some of their favorite books to help children learn about gratitude.
“Stories are a great tool to help students learn about gratitude,” Jacobs-Franks said. “In class, our students are taught to make connections between books and their own experiences. Parents and kids can read these books together and discuss the story and how it connects to them and the real world.”