Today we recognized the 13th anniversary of the 9-11 Terrorist attacks on our country. One of the things that I mentioned to our students today is that there were many courageous citizens on 9/11 who did small and big things to help others. Since that time many men and women have served our country and been involved in actions intended to keep us safe. It is amazing to me the dedication these individuals and their families demonstrate as they make sacrifices for the benefit of other people they do not even know. We said thank you today at MMS for that dedication and courage.
Each year we have a theme at Messalonskee Middle School (MMS) to help us keep a common message to your learners throughout the year. In the past we have focused on Reading, Writing, Anti-Bullying and although those are still areas that are important and we continue to work on with our students, this year MMS is focusing on Courageous Citizenship. What does that mean? What does that look like? It is easy to see it in the events of 9-11 but what does it look like at MMS or in our own families? Well… we are kicking off the year with a guest speaker, Julia Clukey on Monday September 15, 2014 at 1:00pm. Julia is a women singles luge athlete on the USA olympic team. She is from Augusta, Maine and is visiting our students to speak right before she leaves for Lake Placid to continue her training for the next Winter Olympics. Julia will be sharing messages of perseverance with our students, as she shares what it means to be an olympian and what it takes to excel in your field. Perseverance is one of the Habits of Mind that we work with students on at MMS and is a habit that supports success regardless of what we do in our lives. Julia is an amazing and unusual individual who gives back to the central Maine community in many ways. The video below will introduce you to this amazing role-model.
Immediately after Julia’s talk, the MMS staff will be answering the Ice Bucket Challenge. I have been challenged by one of the students at MMS and many of the students have challenged teachers, so 42 MMS staff members will be taking on the challenge and Julia has agreed to join us. Students started purchasing tickets this week to have a chance at being selected as one of the people to pour the buckets of ice water over the head of one of the MMS staff. Tickets are being purchased at $1 each and students can buy as many tickets as they wish to have an opportunity to deliver the shocking experience to one of their teachers. 100% of the money raised will be donated to the ALS Foundation. If you are not familiar with ALS or the Ice Bucket Challenge, here is a video that will help you understand why 42 staff would pay $10 each to have a bucket of ice water poured over their heads. Pete Fates started this challenge to bring more focus and funding to find a cure or treatment for this disease. I warn you that this video is an emotional one to watch. Pete is truly an amazing man.
It is my hope that our focus on Courageous Citizenship will help all of our students consider how they can build and show their courage. It might be raising their hand to answer a question or reaching out to the student who is alone at school. With 531 students and 60 staff it is exciting to think what could be accomplished by our Courageous Citizens.