Saturday, December 12, 2015

Full of Hope

"A mentor empowers a person
to see a possible future,
and believe it can be obtained."
-Shawn Hitchcock

Ten years ago I vividly recall sitting in the front lobby at church.  I had my boys with me.  Drew was 3, and Troy was in a carrier.  Sunday after Sunday we would sit in the lobby.  Drew wanted to play and Troy was a baby.  I remember sitting on the couch and talking to Drew as he played with Hot Wheels cars on the floor.  Drew always wanted me to play with him.  We would zoom those cars all around the furniture.  In the background I could hear Pastor Mark through the speaker system, I often wanted to stop and listen, but I usually tried my best to multi-task.

Sometimes we would have a friendly visitor stop and talk with us, and other times we just hung out together.  Each time we sat on the couch I would glance across and see a large sign that said, Kids Hope USA.

For a long time I had no idea what this was.  The sign sure caught my eye, and the pictures told me it had something to do with kids and mentors, but I wasn't sure.

Then one day a familiar face sat with us.  Her name was Dottie.  Week after week Dottie would take a few minutes and say hi.  Her friendly nature and great memory always made it easy to share.  I remember asking her about Kids Hope and she shared some of the details.  I found it to be a fantastic program.  Little did I know that a few years later I would be principal at the very school she had referred to.  Small World!

Last week I watched one of our students interact with his Kids Hope Mentor.  They played catch for about fifteen minutes.  They talked, they laughed and it was an amazing experience just soaking this in.  The conversation they were having wasn't about school.  It was about life.  But it was also a chance for the student to feel as though he was #1.  This is what it's about!  Warner Elementary is extremely blessed to partner with SAFMC and to have community members that want to freely support kids.  

Each week I see the interactions, most are great, but sometimes you see the sadness and hurt.  Our Kids Hope Mentors care, you can just see the amount of love they have for their child.  

After the pair finished playing catch they headed indoors.  After 20 minutes I stumbled onto them again and overheard the conversation about helping others and doing things around the house for mom.  I kept on walking but I couldn't help feel warm inside.  This young man had another male in his life that was teaching him the correct way to treat others.  

Many of our kids come from broken homes, it's sad, but it's not the end.  Mentoring programs, like, Kids Hope USA help support our kids.  Ultimately it comes down to this, EVERY CHILD NEEDS A CHAMPION.  Every child needs someone that cares.  Sometimes it's a teacher, sometimes it's an aide, sometimes it can be a mentor.

When I watch the interactions I don't focus on the school work, I focus on the relationship and the bigger picture...

It takes me back to the saying, "It Takes a Village To Raise a Child."  When I think of our village I smile.  Last week was a tough week.  I dealt with more discipline last week than I had all year.  But I still smile.  I still have Hope.  I see the support system that our kids have and I believe every single one of our kids has an adult that cares about them.


Monday, December 14th:  5D+ Training at the ISD
Monday, December 14th:  Miss Kolb to Bean for Holiday Festivities
Monday, December 14th:  4pm Running Club
Tuesday, December 15th:  9am Admin Meeting
Tuesday, December 15th:  4pm Lego Club
Tuesday, December 15th:  4pm Gym Sports Club
Wednesday, December 16th:  Grades K-2 Assembly at 8:45am
Wednesday, December 16th:  Warner Outreach 4:30-7pm
Thursday, December 17th:  Classes will be caroling at the Senior Center and Retirement Homes
Thursday, December 17th:  Class parties in the PM
Friday, December 18th:  7:30am Staff Breakfast and gathering

Articles Worth Reading:

Rigor Relevance Framework shared by @E_Sheninger

Walking Together @Jonharper70bd

Videos Worth Watching:

Tale of Two Brains (13 min)

Truth or Truth (4 min)

Ellen's Toy Testers (5 min)

When is it time? Best talk of 2015... (10 min)


  1. Thanks for sharing Ben! I like those mentoring conversations focus on "life" and not just school. This can be a tough time for many of our students and mentoring programs like this can make such a positive impact. It really does take a village!

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