Very diverse groups of students in grades 9-12 have gone on trips to each of the four other buildings in our school district (two elementary schools, an intermediate school, and a middle school) to teach and spread their message of HOPE. Although the specifics of the lesson plans changed accordingly for each level, the students were able to keep the big ideas the same. The big questions that the high school students asked at each level were -
- What makes you awesome?
- What does hope mean to you?
- How can you help others?
- Who encourages you?
One of the most remarkable things that I learned as a witness on these trips was the importance of trusting and believing in all of the students. Their positivity and compassionate approach to younger students made everyone feel important and appreciated and those affirmations will continue to have an impact on everyone who was involved. Interestingly, a reciprocal relationship developed between the high school students and the younger students because they were able to learn from and inspire each other. I am so grateful that I was able to see the magic that happens when an 11th or 12th grader colors with an Kindergardener, when a freshman who was recently bullied dances to inspirational lyrics with a 7th grader, or when a 10th grader gets down on their hands and knees to paint or color with sidewalk chalk. One high school student student even told me that they think that everyone should take some time out to reconnect with their inner child and remember the good, simple, and important things in life! I agreed.
Personally, my favorite lesson this week came from a 3rd grader who announced in a very matter-of-fact way that the best way to help someone who is having trouble is to tell them to "Dream big and be your best self!" After I finished marveling at the fact that the best advice I'd received in a very long time came from such an unexpected place, I realized that the wise little girl was only reminding me what I already knew - these kids are the change that our world needs and I'm so happy to that my friends and I are able to help them on their journey!
Please continue to follow this adventure, share this blog with teachers, parents, and students who want to help make the world more awesome, and leave us some love in the comments below!