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Newsroom First Lady Honors Eight-Year-Old Topeka Student

​TOPEKA – The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) is grateful for every volunteer who assists children in foster care. And the agency appreciates every donation to help children in need feel important. One young Topekan decided he had something he could give to help children removed from their homes—many of whom are about his same age. This afternoon, he was recognized for his generosity at an all-school assembly at McEachron Elementary School, 4433 SW 29th Terrace, Topeka.

Connor Tannehill earned several McDonalds Happy Meal coupons for his success in a reading program. He decided others would benefit from having the coupons more than he would. Out of concern for the children he had heard were brought in protective custody to the DCF Topeka Service Center, the third grader decided to give the coupons, 11 in all, to his cousin, DCF Human Service Supervisor Diana Rose, who works at the DCF Topeka Service Center.

“Children brought to our center in protective custody are often here for several hours as we identify a temporary home” Kim Yoxall said, Assistant Director of Programs at the DCFTopeka Service Center. “They are usually scared and hungry when they are brought in. We give them food when they are here, but it’s really nice that with the coupons we can have someone run out and bring them back something hot that they like to eat. It makes them feel a little better.”

For his kind gesture, First Lady Mary Brownback presented Tannehill a certificate on behalf of the State of Kansas and DCF. Mrs. Brownback commended the third-grader for having the insight and compassion to reach out to others.

“He saw a way to encourage others, and he did it,” Mrs. Brownback told the students. “We can all look for ways we too can be caring and compassionate. That should be a daily activity.”

McEachron Elementary School Principal Victor Williams presented Tannehill with the school’s Citizenship Award and encouraged every student to find ways to exhibit character. Topeka School District Superintendent Dr. Julie Ford also encouraged acts of goodwill among students.

“Character is how you treat people,” Ford said. “We should always treat people the way we want to be treated.”

DCF Interim Deputy Secretary for Family Services Jaime Rogers expressed gratitude of Tannehill’s donation.

“This is really special that a young boy would recognize the needs of others and give so freely of something he earned,” Rogers said. “And it’s no small gesture. It is really making a difference in the lives of some kids in our care.”


First Lady Mary Brownback hands Connor a certificate