For the first time in three years, a Vinson kid will not be graduating from high school. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss football games and tennis matches. My heart is full of gratitude that this job has allowed me to experience school with them in such a unique way. It seems like just yesterday that they were graduating from kindergarten, and we soaked up every moment. There were A LOT of special memories that I will always cherish; but, if I’m being honest, keeping every graded paper, every unique drawing, and every well-earned certificate sometimes became overwhelming.
Regularly, the Vinson kids would dump the contents of school folders and backpacks into a drawer. At the end of the year, the drawer was carefully cleaned out and the best works made it into a pizza box that we used as a keepsake chest. These pizza boxes reflect our kids’ best, most funny, interesting, and sometimes crazy work from class and school. It became my wife, Cristy’s, method of managing the paperwork and cherishing memories. Looking at those pizza boxes now, I am reminded of how quickly time passes us by. What I wouldn’t give to go back and experience those times once again.
Very soon, April will turn to May and our schools will welcome Frog Fests, Bulldog Boogies, awards ceremonies, graduations, proms, classroom parties, school projects, and other opportunities that will undoubtedly help to fill the boxes with the artifacts of an admittedly challenging, but special, school year. As a parent, I am grateful for the friends, principals, tax-payers, and teachers who helped to make these moments possible.
During the last nine weeks of school, we turn our attention to teaching and practicing the values of Gratitude and Celebration, the Wylie Way. Wednesday, April 13, is our official “Day of Gratitude” that will be celebrated in one way or another at every campus.
Why Focus on Gratitude?
Research proves that gratitude can improve general well-being, increase resilience, strengthen social relationships, and reduce stress and depression. How does this work? Check out this video from our friends at the Momentous Institute.
These are the values our civic leaders, teachers, parents, pastors, and board members considered the most important to raise the kind of future adult we’d all be proud to call our own. From this, we created our board goal of instilling community and ethical values in our students.
The Wylie Way Plan for Our Day of Gratitude
Director of the Wylie Way and Counseling Services and our Guru of Gratitude, Amanda Martin, explains that many of our campuses are using Wednesday as their big day to celebrate our Ripples of Hope card activity.
Each campus has been provided Ripple of Hope cards so that everyone can participate. Fill one out, and let someone know that they give you hope. You can also print off a card by clicking on the link below. Print it, write it, and send it. It’s really that simple.
In addition, campuses are doing gratitude scavenger hunts, gratitude lists, and even keeping journals for the month. Depending on your child’s campus, the activities could vary. Regardless of where your child goes to school in Wylie ISD, we can guarantee that he/she will receive opportunities to reflect upon and show gratitude. We cannot wait to share this experience with our students.
Join in the Gratitude!
You are welcome to show your gratitude as well.
- Is there an educator, principal, bus driver, your own kiddo, or family member who is a Ripple of Hope? Print a card and let them know that they have made a positive impact in your life. Your words will brighten their day.
- We also encourage you to ask each member of your family to share three things they are grateful for with one another. This is a simple exercise that can be done in the car or at the dinner table.
- It’s not too late to find a pizza box that could become your treasure chest of memories. Share special moments of the day, celebrate one another’s successes, and find the good in the little things.
I am grateful for everyone who makes a difference in the lives of our kids, our employees, and our families, and everyone who makes this school district such a special place, The Wylie Way!