The students are Hawthorne Elementary School are definitely phenomenal! I had the privilege of visiting the school in the Park Hill district and speaking to students, K-5, about being respectful citizens and goal setting.  As I began to speak at the 5th grade assembly, a hush fell over the students.  Normally the students have so many questions that they wiggle around with an eager face.  I was quite impressed with the respect the students provided me with as I spoke to them and encouraged them to get involved in 6th grade.  When it came time for the question session, I was worried that the students would be shy and not have many questions; however, I was shocked when all of their questions were well thought through and very knowledgeable.
The students were so well behaved that I decided to throw in a fun team building activity for them.  Since we were talking about working together and being respectful to others, I thought it would be best to participate in the human knot!  The kids loved it!!! 

They continued to listen to directions and we decided to have the teams race to see who could unscramble faster without talking.

The groups worked together very well!! 

After we completed the activity, I began to reinforce the main points of my presentation.  All of the students were so grateful and I cannot wait to visit again.
After the assembly for the 5th graders, I began to visit the classrooms of several other grades.  I provided those students with a shorter speech, answers to their questions and of course, autographs!! 

One of my favorite parts of the day was during my visit to the special education wing of the school building.  Growing up, I found it difficult to accept the fact that my uncle had a mental handicap.  After being inspired by the book The Man who Loved Clowns by Missouri author, June Rae Wood, I began to develop a special love for people with disabilities.  Unfortunately, my uncle can no longer talk, but he definitely loves to smile at us when we visit.  I tried to make the most out of my time with these students because they continue each day with a smile on their face.  This became my inspiration.

They have absolutely no cares! Many of the children showed me that they live a life of happiness and it is filled with laughter in which I was able to experience with them.

One of the BEST huggers I know! 

I will definitely never forget my trip to Hawthorn Elementary.  A huge thank you goes out to the staff and administration for contacting me and allowing me to experience their wonderful students.

-The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the more significant and the higher in inspiration his life will be.  Horace Bushnell

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