It was fun this Friday the 13th at Imagine.
It was exhilarating to sit, listen, and appreciate for a couple of hours to some bright young minds standing on their own two feet to share their soft skills, manners, and behaviors with a panel of professionals about life issues.
I am so glad to have said “Yes” responding to a request from my fellow toastmaster Shakira Taylor, an office staff at Imagine, to be part of the volunteers to the inaugural ‘Power of Positivity’ for 5th grader students.
I didn’t know what to expect from this adventure. I was anxious about what to do, how to dress, and the best way to fullfill my role.
It turned out to be a great learning experience for the whole community including the school faculty, the students, and the volunteers.
What’s the Power of Positivity?
Teaching students manners, discipline, respect, and how to conduct him or herself in a professional environment are all an important part of our academic program. At Imagine Elementary at North Lauderdale, students learn the mechanics of a proper handshake and working the room so that they are able to present themselves exceptionally well for opportunities today and in the future.
The day begins with about 25 business professionals here at Imagine Elementary at North Lauderdale. Each student has to go through an obstacle course, spending 1 minute interacting with each professional. When the student walks away, the professionals score the child based on handshake firmness, eye contact, confidence, common sense, etc.
At the end of the day, the top 20 students will be told that they will continue on to Round 2 that will take place in the new year. They will have the opportunity to visit a business where they have to interact with more professionals. Those professionals will name the top 8. Round 3 will be another opportunity for our students to utilize their skills and our top winner will be announced.
I listen to almost 50 students telling me in a PSA (Public Service Annoucement) why they think “other people matter.”
Some were better than others. But, all were above “unsatisfactory,” from a scale of 1 to 4. They are almost the same age, but different in size, color, appearance, and performance.
I stood up to strech my legs curled up under the little table. To release from my cramps, I took a walking to the restroom. Standing in the hall, I met Joshua. He locked his eyes to mine, smiled, told me his name, paused, handed me a firm handshake, and asked for my name.
“I’m Roosevelt,” I told him.
“That’s a nice name,” Joshua replied adding “That’s a President Name.”
He asked me if I speak Creole. I told him “yes,” and he said “Sak Pase?”
Joshua rushed back to find his classmates standing in line to make their tour.
At the end, the Principal, Sharon Bailey, reported what she said she has heard from the kids.
“They are excited,” she said.
“Some are eager to move to round 2 and win some gift cards,” she added inviting us, volunteers, to walk one by one on a red carpet to receive a “small token of appreciation” for our community service.
We laughed out loud when each one of us was called to walk, wave, and receive our certificate under the spotlight of the cameras and cellphones.
This surely has been a wonderful, and fun Friday the 13th at Imagine!