Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Be the Change

Each day after the Pledge of Allegiance, the students at Trevor's school recite their school pledge:
I am a Redhawk.  I reach higher and know that real learning takes effort and responsibility. I have a resilient mind, the heart of a champion, and big dreams. Every day is a new day in which I choose kindness, respect, gratitude, and happiness.  I will be the change I wish to see in the world.
They don't just recite this pledge - they incorporate it into everything they do.  It's awesome.

Last year (when Trevor was in first grade), all 740 students were invited to write an essay about what they do to be the change they wish to see in the world.  Along with the essay, they filled out a form listing the community service they do. Trevor worked really hard on his essay and form.  About a month after he turned it in, we got a letter in the mail telling us that Trevor was selected to be one of 20 students that would form the first Be the Change Student Summit.  We were invited to attend the ceremony where he and the others would be honored.

We didn't know what to expect, but it was clear from the moment we arrived at the school that morning that whatever would be happening was way beyond what we could have imagined.  The assembly was amazing: we heard what each honored child does to Be the Change, listened to dignitaries including the mayor, superintendent, council member, congressional representative, and more talk about community service, and learned that the students would be meeting to decide the recipients of $500 donated in their honor.  Trevor and the others were given beautiful certificates, lunch, and gift cards from a dozen local businesses.  To say we were proud would be the understatement of the year.

Between Steve and me, we took several hundred pictures that day.  I really struggled with what pictures to use for this special layout.  I went back and forth on what to include before deciding to keep it really simple and allow three photos and my journaling to tell the story.  I asked Trevor to write the title in his handwriting.


Trevor has just submitted his application for the 2014 Be the Change Student Summit.  While we hope he is selected, what is important to me is that he knows that, even at 7 years old, he can make a difference.  He understands that we don't do community service to win a contest, but because helping others is the right thing to do.  He knows that anyone, regardless of age or circumstance, can be the change they wish to see in the world.  In my mind, that makes him a winner no matter what.

6 comments:

  1. Wow!!! Yay for Trevor! What an honor!!! Love the layout! Don't know what the other pictures look like but I think the 3 you picked do an excellent job of capturing the moment and great idea to have Trevor handwrite the title!!!

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  2. OMGoodness, how WONDERFUL!!! :) What a fantastic honor!! I love the layout too, especially Trevor's handwriting! :)

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  3. Love that your school does this!!! SO cool that your little one is so empathetic, hard sometimes for kids to realize this in today's instant gratification world. Love your clean, simple layout, too!

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  4. Wow!!! YAY for Trevor... that is AMAZING!! What an honor!! I loveeeeeee your lo!! GORGEOUS photos!!!!!

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  5. Wow. I'm impressed. It must be such a proud parenting moment. Love that he wrote the title in his handwriting. :)

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  6. This is so impressive!! Good job Trevor!!! :)

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