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Downers Grove

Teacher gratitude, recognition blooms in District 58

Middle school teachers in Downers Grove Grade School District 58 were surprised with bouquets of flowers Oct. 21 as part of the Society of American Florists' Petal It Forward program. Photo provided
Middle school teachers in Downers Grove Grade School District 58 were surprised with bouquets of flowers Oct. 21 as part of the Society of American Florists' Petal It Forward program. Photo provided

DOWNERS GROVE - Middle school teachers from Downers Grove Grade School District 58 walked outside of their classrooms last Oct. 21 to a surprise of dozens of bright flower bouquets from a nationwide campaign called “Petal It Forward.”

“Any chance to recognize our teachers right now is so appreciated,” said Amy Read, principal at Herrick Middle School.

The Petal It Forward campaign occurs each year in October and is in partnership with the Society of American Florists. It’s a powerful way to illustrate the positive health benefits of giving and receiving flowers, according to the society's website.

More than 200 bouquets were handed out to District 58 teachers from FTD in collaboration with Phillip’s Flowers and Gifts in Downers Grove.

Emily Bucholz, director of marketing communications at FTD, said the teachers were given the flowers because they’re having the most unique and challenging school year ever.

“It’s super stressful for the teachers and so it was just the timing that was great because they just started in-person classes again and just the teachers’ reactions were just super thankful,” Bucholz said.

The district brought students back for in-person learning Oct. 20 with its hybrid learning model.

Middle school teachers from Herrick Middle School, 4435 Middaugh Ave., and O’Neil Middle School, 635 59th St., were given the flowers one at a time for social distancing precautions.

Read said the event was “totally unexpected” when FTD reached out and asked if they wanted to participate in the campaign. She said she didn’t give the teachers much instruction except to come outside at 2:30 p.m. for a surprise.

“As they walked through the door, they saw the massive amount of flowers displayed,” Read said. “They were absolutely surprised but they smiled, and it was a beautiful, gorgeous day, it could not have been a better fall day for it.”

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