Schools in Florida and other states have a great program in place called Character Counts. The program promotes the following pillars of character:
Six Pillars of Character for more information regarding this program. David Wolf, a partner with the law firm of Wood, Atter & Wolf, was invited to a local elementary school - Durbin Creek Elementary School - to talk to the children and parents about Citizenship. Mr. Wolf commented that, "It was my pleasure and honor to be able to speak at this school and share my thoughts of Citizenship with the children."
The school along with its hard working parents and volunteers did a wonderful job of recognizing the students who were given this award from each class. The guidance counselor had personal and individual comments for each and every child given the award. It really made the morning presentation special for each student and his / her parents. Hopefully, Mr. Wolf's thoughts and comments of Citizenship will inspire these students, parents, and others to "Do Your Share" to make schools and communities better.
Here is the speech or speaking points that Mr. Wolf put together for this great event.
"Do Your Share" to make your school and community better. This is a simple message yet it is so important for you to keep in mind when you are at school and in the community. "Do Your Share" . . . . These three words by themselves also have an important meaning. "Do Your Share" means, in part, that each of you should take personal responsibility for your actions to help make the school and community a better place for all.
As an attorney, I represent clients and also have represented some non-profit companies. At times, I am asked to help people and organizations for free which I do as part of my mission to be a good citizen. I also am a volunteer and serve on the board of directors for organizations that truly do their part to serve the community.
I previously volunteered for an organization called Big Brothers & Big Sisters, which is a mentoring organization. I was assigned to a 9-year-old boy to serve as a mentor. Once a week or so, we would spend time talking, playing sports, going to the bookstore, or just going to lunch. Over time, he graduated from both high school and then college. He now works as a sports video producer and editor in New York City. Through Big Brothers & Big Sisters, I did my share, in part, to help out a kid in need. We remain friends to this day. He is now 28 years old . . . My family visited New York this Summer and guess who helped up find our way through the Subway system and get us to a Yankees Game?
But you should keep in mind that you do not need to be an attorney, professional or an adult for that matter to make a difference and be a good citizen.
Let's talk more about your citizenship efforts recently or at the present time.
How many students here today are getting good grades, paying attention in class, and learning? This, in part is helping our community because the better educated you are - the better off your community will be now and in the future.
How many students here today are participating in extra-curricular activities like soccer, baseball, softball, gymnastics, art, or dance? This, in part, is also helping our community because sports and extra-curricular activities help promote teamwork, sportsmanship, cooperation, and other great values.
How many students here today have helped a classmate or friend at school with homework, helping out with a project, loaning a book or pencil? These are also acts of being a good citizen in school and for your friends.
How many students here today have helped collect for or donate time or money to an organization like Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, a Church, Race for the Cure, or other worthy causes? Yes, even buying Girl Scout cookies helps promote citizenship but donating time and effort are important as well as these organizations and your community rely on volunteers to get things done for the betterment of the community as well as those who need our help.
How many students have taken the time to help a neighbor or a friend in the community? These acts are also making the community a better place for all.
As you can see, many simple acts help promote citizenship as do bigger commitments like volunteering at one of these organizations or at school.
You remember I asked you what you have done recently or at the present time. Now, let's talk about the future . . . .
Raise your hand if you feel that you could do more to be good citizens - help promote your school and community?
That is great . . . . everyone thinks that they can do more . . . . Here are two other things to I would like to know as well:
Raise your hand if you want to do more to be a good citizen in the future?
Finally . . .
Raise your hand if you are committed and will do more to be a good citizen in the future . . .
Congratulations on being named Character Counts for Citizenship for Durbin Creek Elementary School for this month. Be proud of this honor today and keep up the good work. Remember - - - "Do Your Share" to make your school and community better."
(It is interesting to note that during the presentation, David Wolf asked the students if their arms/hands were getting tired from having to raise them so many times. The students then said, "No". David Wolf then responded by saying that is great - - - that means that as students you can do more for the community and school.)