Have you ever heard of Kid President? He looks maybe just a little bit like President Obama, wears a suit and tie and all, but he’s a lot shorter and is probably 11. If you Google Kid President, he will come up as the star of several great clips for kids. I watched one today in two 5th grade classrooms. It was called, “20 Things We Should Say More Often.” As our world reacts in horror, and responds with compassion to what happened recently in Paris, it was so reassuring to see how seriously these students took their assignment, which was simply to write down these 20 kind words and then create a poster using some of them. Our students really got into their task, and the idea that words can make a big difference sank in. The words that went on their posters included things like please and thank you and I’m sorry. The smiles and happy dances that broke out clearly showed the power of words. There was a feeling of good will in the air, and not to sound corny, but brotherhood and sisterhood.
Last week we began a campaign as a result of realizing some of our 5th grade friends had been using unkind words. It is probably not surprising, again, given our world, that some students had been heard using words that have the power to hurt. Select students shared that hurtful words were not welcome, and staff demanded that these words stop now. We took a stand, and are spreading the message that words are powerful, and the right words can impact lives in many ways.
Thank you to the parents who received phone calls last week and helped their students understand what needed to change and what would be expected in the future. And thank you to all of our parents for helping in our joint partnership, that of raising a group of fine human beings, ready to face the world as productive, successful citizens. We consider ourselves thankful to be influences in your students’ lives.