BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Two Bakersfield elementary schools are grieving over the loss of a beloved teacher and now they’re determined to complete a mission on her behalf.
Sixth-grade teacher Christine Self died in a single car rollover wreck on Alfred Harrell Highway Monday morning, leaving hearts broken all over the city and her last public wish unfulfilled. Or so it might have seemed.
Sunday afternoon about 3 p.m. the 53-year-old teacher posted a Christmas wish on Facebook. Not a wish for herself – for her kids. She wrote:
“My heart has been hurting after hearing several of my students say that they won’t be getting anything for Christmas this year.
“A lot of them are being raised by grandmas because their parents are in jail.”
But, she wrote, she has “a very sweet, kind, and generous class this year.”
She asked friends and family if they would be willing to donate a wrapped game for one of her 27 students. And she received dozens of affirmations, many of which she acknowledged with a thank you – the last of them posted just two hours before the crash that took her life.
Turns out many others are willing to help as well, including her West High School class of 1986 and those who work at the two elementary schools – Loudon, where she began teaching this school year, and Old River, where she taught previously.
Kelsey Brackett, communications officer for the Panama- Buena Vista Union School District of southwest Bakersfield, said the two schools have rallied in the teacher’s memory.
“Obviously Mrs. Self was very passionate and very loving with her students, cared very, very much,” Brackett said.
The toys and games continue to stack up at the school district office. Christine Self’s wish for her 27 students has become a wish granted for many, many more.
“We are asking if the community is interested in donating any item for students in memory of Mrs. Self,” Brackett said. “We are taking non-perishable goods and any unwrapped toys or games for children.”
Do you have a new book or a new game for kids like those in her classroom? Drop them at the Panama Buena- Vista School District office on Ashe Road, just south of White Lane. They’ll be distributed to the kids Tuesday.
Services for Christine Self have not been announced.