Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's Right in Education!




Submitted by:
Mark Little, Edison Middle School Cross Country Coach

At our Optimist Cross Country Meet in September I had several adults and kids mention to me how nice and sportsmanlike our runners were.  I was very proud.  We talk about this kind of thing daily in practice as being very important.  Then when I got to school the next day I received the following e-mail message.


Hello,
I'm sending this email as a compliment to the cross country team at Edison, and am hoping you will pass it along to the coaching staff.  This afternoon my son, a 5th grader at St. Matthew's Lutheran School competed in the cross country meet at Optimist Park.  My son has many talents, music, math, Lego building, but he is not naturally athletic.  He enjoys cross country, despite the fact that he is consistently in last place, often with a very large gap between himself and the other runners.

Today as I was waiting for him to finish, I noticed crowd of green shirts near the part of the course where the runners enter the final stretch of the race.  I assumed that another runner was coming, aside from my son.  But no, a group of students from Edison joined my son on the course so he didn't have to finish the race alone.

I realize that the students maybe shouldn't have entered the course, and maybe they needed to be preparing for their own race, but it was a truly touching moment.  Please thank them for showing such kindness and encouragement to a fellow athlete. 

Sincerely,
Katie

A couple of weeks later we were running as a team (90 of us) at practice and when we finished a little 4th grade girl on our team wanted to nominate a 8th grade girl for our “Golden Shoe” award.  This is a homemade trophy (a 4”x4” post with one of my old running shoes attached, painted gold) that is awarded weekly to a team member who most demonstrates what it means to be an Edison Cross Country team member.  The little girl didn't give me a very clear reason why, but I saw the following post on the Edison Cross Country Facebook Page the next day: 

Hi there -
I live on W State St so I see your kids running past every fall. My little kids love to watch them. But today I saw something really cool from your team, and shared it with my the facebook community for my business. The story has since been seen by nearly 10,000 people. Just wanted your kids to know that when they are full of awesome it does not go unnoticed by the community. They did a great job representing Edison today!


Here's what I shared: 
Dear Cross Country Girls,
I was enjoying an afternoon of running errands without my children when I saw you waiting for the light to change at the intersection. You looked strong, athletic, vibrant, and beautiful in the autumn sunshine. I know a lot of kids in town, but I don't know any of the three of you. Which is a disappointment, because I wish I knew your names so that I could run into your mothers at the supermarket to tell them what I saw.
The light changed and you took off running, ponytails bouncing with each leaping step. And then I noticed the smaller, younger girl running behind you, a full city block behind you. One of you look over your shoulder to see where she was. As I waited for my light to change, I saw the second girl in your group look over her shoulder at her. Then I watched all three of you run in place, cheer her on, and let her catch up a bit so she wasn't running alone anymore.
I was enjoying an afternoon of running errands without my kids, but now wished they were in the car with me so I could point out how Full of Awesome you are. I never ran cross country (I played soccer) so I don't know how much teamwork goes into the sport. I just know I am so proud of what I saw today.

Keep up the great pace,

Melissa


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