Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Who Loves Ya Baby?

If you're old enough to remember that line, then you remember Telly Savalas rocking a bald head in Kojak. From Yul Brynner to Patrick Stewart to Vin Desel, stars of the screen have shown us that bald can be beautiful. Recently, I decided to part with my hair, not for a fashion statement, but for a good cause. Each year the St. Baldrick's organization raises money for childhood cancer research by holding Shave-a-thons. Participants get pledges and donations from people in return for shaving their heads. The head shaving is an act of solidarity with the fighters and survivors of cancer who have lost their hair and in memory of lost loved ones. When I was first approached about participating, I was willing to donate, but wasn't sure about shaving my head...especially during a school year. However, when I found out that one of the children being honored this year was the child of one of my teachers, I knew this was the time to do all I could to help. So, I signed up to "Brave the Shave"!

One of the first things I learned when I signed up was that only 4% of research money goes to pediatric cancer. The next thing I learned was how generous my friends were. In 24 hours, I had reached my goal of $500 due in large part to one my former wrestlers. Within the next month, over $2000 was raised from donations from friends, colleagues, and members of the Livonia Rotary Club. The final thing I learned was the true meaning of grit. Being a part of the event, I was able to hear many of the stories of these remarkable young children and their families. These children (and their families) endure incredible hardships and heartaches and yet they keep moving forward and continue to support one another through it all. I learned that no day should ever be taken for granted.

The day of the shaving was an emotional day. Not for losing my hair, but for seeing all the generosity and love and support from people at the event. They all had some connection with childhood cancer and were all willing to help any way they could. The child of my teacher, Kellen, who is one of the bravest people I know, came up on stage and got to do the honors of shaving my head. It was so wonderful to see the excitement in his face and know that this day was for him and all those fighting the same fight. It also meant a lot to me to have my daughters with me and for all of us to realize how lucky we are and how much we have to be thankful for.

The next day we had a special #CelebrateMonday assembly. Our theme for the month is Grit, so it was the perfect chance to show what true grit is. We talked about our youth service projects and how students can participate to make a difference. The St. Baldrick's event was a chance for me to give back a little just as our students had been all year long. But we also talked about Kellen and how he shows grit each time he goes for a treatment or has a stay in the hospital or just simply keeps going on days he doesn't feel well. And how his family does the same.  One of my students correctly stated that "Grit is the stubborn refusal to quit". That's exactly what Kellen and so many others do every day. I may not rock the bald look like a movie star, but hopefully my shiny head will tell Kellen and all the children fighting cancer the answer to the question, "Who loves ya baby?".


"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." - Mahatma Gandhi

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." - Lao Tzu

"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." - Winston Churchill

St. Baldrick's Event 2016 (3 minutes) 



Monday, May 29: No School for Memorial Day
Tuesday, May 30: All School Assembly with Jerry Jacoby (singer/character education) 2:00-3:00 pm
Wednesday, May 31: Jon to Buchanan for Kindergarten Round Up
Thursday, June 1: Class Grouping Time 8:05 am
                           Paula to Rosedale for Kindergarten Round Up
Friday, June 2: Final Lunch with the Principal 12:10 pm 
                       Spring Fling/Basket Raffle 6:00-8:00 pm 

Monday, June 5: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 am 
Tuesday, June 6: Grouping Cards due to Angie
Wednesday, June 7: Jon to Buchanan for class groupings
Thursday, June 8: Field Day
                            Elementary Principals Meeting 1:30-4:30 pm

Thursday, June 15: Students dismissed at 12:10 pm
                             Gathering at The Box 4:00 pm 
Friday, June 16: All School Assembly with Pato 10:00 am
                         4th Grade Clap Out 11:30 am
                         Students Dismissed at 12:10 pm 

Monday, June 19: Teacher Work Day (Optional Report Day)

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