Saturday, February 14, 2015

Kids These Days

The Student Council at Rye Elementary School, under the tutelage of Jacquie DeFreze, recently organized a fundraiser called "Mall in the Hall" where they sold both goods and services to their school community.  The Mall in the Hall was peppered with a variety of creative kid ideas including face painting, nail painting and the ever popular pet rock.  One dollar at a time, the students inched closer to their goal. All the while, those of us at Kids Five & Over had absolutely no idea they were doing this for us.  The students' hard work and creativity yielded incredible success.  

Imagine our surprise when they asked us to come to an assembly so they could present us with a check.  A really, really big check.

Rye Elementary School Students, 2015

ONE THOUSAND dollars! That is an enormous amount of money and the students deserve great praise and high accolades for their efforts.  What made our hearts fill with pride was that these were kids helping kids - and moreover, they were helping kids who they may never meet.

A favorite quote of ours at Kids Five & Over is this:  

You have not lived 
until you have done something 
for someone who can never repay you.  
 - John Bunyan

How many of us would like to rewind the clock in order to learn that important lesson at the young age of ten?  The generosity of these students is heartfelt.  We saw great pride and incredible poise as they stood in front of their peers during a recent assembly to share how they raised the money and, equally as important, WHY they raised the money.  As mentors to younger students, they explained the importance of helping.  Student Council Vice President, Daisy Helm, explained, "Everyone has a talent....and everyone should have a chance to make something of that talent."

No one understands the mission of Kids Five & Over more than kids.  They know at a gut level how alive and in sync they feel when they are immersed in a hobby or growing their talent.  They know about meeting friends with similar interests and creating bonds that come with their own unspoken language.  They know about teamwork and tenacity and all those things that build strong human beings.  They want these things for all kids and, in the case of our friends at Rye Elementary School, they are willing to use their time, energy and talent to make it possible for other kids to realize dreams of their own.

If you ever feel discouraged by "kids these days," you need only think about the students at Rye Elementary School.  They are a perfect example of what is right in our society and we will be forever grateful to them for sharing their hearts with us.

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