By JEN CARDINES
Do you want to sit on a wet and dirty carpet? Do you want to sit on a carpet square with strings hanging out of it?
Claire Kaufmann, a third grade student in Keith O’Brien’s class at Thalberg Elementary School, used these questions to open her persuasive letter to a local Home Depot. Kaufmann urged managers at Home Depot to give her class new carpet squares to sit on.
How could they refuse?
During a writing unit, O’Brien had his class write sample persuasive pieces, but when she brought her letter home, Kaufmann’s parents took it one step further. While making a trip to the Home Depot on Interstate Park Drive, Claire’s father brought along the letter and delivered it to workers at the store.
“We didn’t think anything would come of it,” said Claire’s mother, Andrea Kaufmann.
But low and behold, Home Depot staff members rolled carpet down the hall to O’Brien’s room last Wednesday morning. Claire had no idea they were coming.
“Today is proof that when you use your voice and you persuade others, amazing things can happen.” Thalberg Principal Megan Bennett told the class moments before the Home Depot staff entered the room.
Kaufmann’s face drew a smile when she saw the carpet squares—50 to be exact—roll into her classroom.
“Your timing was absolutely perfect because two days after I got your letter, the store was doing a reset of carpet squares, Frank Kryzwick said. He is a customer order specialist at the Home Depot store and arranged the donation.
“These are the old carpet squares – they’re brand new but we are just changing colors – so we are more than happy to donate these carpet squares to your class,” he said.
The third grader’s words described her classroom’s old carpet squares that needed replacing as “wet, stinky and smelly.” The students use them daily when they sit in front of the white board for lessons, but the constant use caused deterioration.
“We have some hard workers at the end of every day who stick around to make sure [the carpets] are maintained by clipping them and re-taping them to the floor,” O’Brien said.
The class gathered around Kaufmann as she laid down the first piece of carpet and tested it out. The donation allowed every student to have a new carpet to sit on, along with extras and longer length pieces for ‘buddies’ to use.
Click here for Kaufmann’s letter: Claire Kaufmann – Letter to Home Depot