By Jamie Leary
WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4)– The students at Metz Elementary may be young but they are smart.
“They’re so interested in their world and they always know what’s happening especially in their neighborhood so it wasn’t surprising to me that that’s what they wanted to do,” said teacher Dylan Shelofsky.
Shelofsky said the students understand what happened to Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy Heath Gumm and were hit hard by his loss. They decided to write letters of support to his family and fellow deputies.
Gumm was gunned down Wednesday night in Adams County while responding to an assault.
“They all decided and voted on it as a class without me to write letters to the sheriff’s department,” said Shelofsky. “I’m amazed by them every day but especially then it was incredible and I was really proud of them.”
Several students took time to share their letters and thoughts.
“Dear ACSD I am so sorry for your loss but there’s one place in my heart that you guys belong. Thank you for your bravery and legacy,” said fourth grader, Rey. ”You can see I have put a football card in here. That’s a gift for your service. Sincerely, Rey.”
Fifth grader Rielly said she was praying for Deputy Gumm and shared part of her letter:
“He was a great friend and a great police officer even though I don’t know him I know he was a great person because he lost his life to help our community and I will pray for him. Thank you guys for keeping us safe.”
Metz Elementary began working on the letters Thursday and on Friday morning, they received a special call. Deputy Gumm’s widow along with his mother called Metz Elementary to let the students know how much they appreciated their letters.
“It was the first thing that I got to tell my class this morning and on my morning message I had written, ‘I can’t wait to tell you about a very special call’ and so they were on edge,” said Shelofsky. “They were very honored and grateful that his wife and mother could see what they had done and know that we’re thinking about them.”
In addition to the letters, the students are practicing for their big concert, a benefit for Deputy Gumm with proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital. A special request by Gumm’s family.
“Their life right now has been turned upside down in the worst possible way but I’m glad these kids can give a little light to them in this time,” said Shelofsky.
Through song and their letters, the Metz Elementary students have found a way to express their feelings about what happened while showing law enforcement how much they care,
“I think they felt so deeply saddened by what happened but they always are talking about how grateful they are for the police officers in our community so those 2 things kind of went hand in hand when they were writing,” said Shelofsky.
The benefit concert, which is in line with the schools “You Matter” campaign, is at Metz Elementary on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. Doors will open at 5:30. There is no charge to attend but donations for Deputy Gumm’s fund at Children’s hospital are encouraged.
Donations for Gumm’s family can be made on the Adams County Sheriff’s Foundation website. The family also asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation.
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.