We are the hero of our own story. ~ Mary McCarthy
by Pete Ferguson
Last night we watched “Won’t Back Down” – a story about two single moms who take over an impoverished school in Philadelphia against all odds.
The story is inspiring, but probably a little out of reach to most. Their main focus was on literacy – but seeing it as the teacher’s union and school’s fault.
About half way through the movie I started counting up how many kids my wife Stephanie is responsible for teaching how to read and help identify learning “disabilities” in the pre-kindergarden years. It is probably close to 100 at this point. That is a pretty significant ripple.
Steph didn’t do it by taking over a school board single handedly. She did it as an entreprenuer.
About five or six years ago she was inspired to go to Ikea and buy a small table and four chairs, and then go to the school and borrow the “I See Sam” books used in K-4 Utah school reading programs and she purchased a booth at a local fair and signed up her first eight or so families under the name “Little School.”
Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. ~ Booker T. Washington
I’ll be honest, her initial goal was to help get our family out of debt while still being able to spend time with our two youngest daughters. As an added bonus, we would no longer have to pay someone else for preschool and she would get to use her teaching degree that had sat unused since my son was born.
Her vision was literacy and math, and it has paid off in spades. Families who embrace the program and read with their children several times a week are tested at a first – and sometimes second and third grade – reading level. Our daughter and others with September/October/November birthdays who miss the deadline have been able to test out of kindergarden. Her waiting lists for the next two years are full and parents have called her when they find out they are expecting another child to get on the list.
Which got me thinking that being a hero doesn’t occur overnight. It is the culmination – the small additions – of many small acts that build up over time. When I congratulated my wife last night, she looked at me kind of funny and said “gee, thanks, I don’t feel like a hero.”
We are surrounded by heros. We may be a hero to others without knowing it.
- Random Thought on Heros (vdcoleman.wordpress.com)
- Remembering Calvin Blossom – The Influence One Life Can Have (LearnActShare.com)
- Start Before You Are Ready (everydaypowerblog.com)