Good evening to everyone in the FLRSD community,
FLRSD has been busy, far beyond our daily and substantive focus on academics and we are incredibly proud of the service and character that our students display, along with their outstanding academic achievements. It has always been the focus of FLRSD, and will continue to be, to educate the whole child and the few examples below signify that belief. Please read more about what each school is doing, in their newsletter, linked at the bottom of this message.
AES is planning multiple kindness and giving to others events in December. Please check their newsletter.
FES is assisting The Tuesday Club of Assonet in collecting items to make stockings for our local veterans at the Veterans Hospital in Brockton and the Veterans’s transition house in New Bedford
GRAIS students on the Superintendent’s Roundtable are heading up a drive for donations of NEW warm hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, and socks!
FLMS The FLMS National Junior Honor Society members collectively completed over 250 hours of community service during the 1st term. Students were active in the Freetown-Lakeville communities coaching youth football, dance, and hockey, helping out at the Lakeville Arts and Music Festival, cleaning up the Little Fenway Park in Freetown, and volunteering at the town libraries and church events. Some students helped out at New Bedford's Buttonwood Park Zoo and Gifts to Give, and many spent time giving back to our school community in the FLMS library and homework club and at various events at GRAIS, FES, and AES.
ARHS Student theater performed “The play that went wrong”, reinforcing that the arts are so vitally important for our students pk-12. 55 students will be receiving the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship. Girls Soccer and Football both won league titles and Football defeated ORR for the first time since 2014 on Thanksgiving day.
And the district continues to work with multiple town officials and experts, as we have since our arrival, to ensure that we provide a safe school experience for all students as well as beginning to develop our annual budget.
As we head into the second week of December and closer to winter break, I contemplated what message should be sent during a time that is portrayed by the media as a time of joy and extravagance, of family and gifts in abundance while for so many people, physical and economic uncertainty and emotional struggles are the focus.
Yet when I sat in the audience last week at our High School to watch 73 more of our students get inducted into the National Honor Society-NHS-(currently there are 80 members who were inducted last year) and spoke with students from all schools involved in the projects above, I reflected on the four pillars that must be demonstrated by a student in order to be inducted into the NHS (leadership, scholarship, service and character). Not every student is interested or comfortable in being a leader and we know so many remarkably talented students who excel in ways that are not measured in scholarship and are brilliant in their fields of interest. However, service and character are something that EVERYONE can excel at- incessantly giving back to others and having integrity- and it begins here in FLRSD at both AES and FES.
Within every school we have AMAZING students who model one or more of these pillars everyday. I have seen this first hand in my opportunities to sit with students at every school for the superintendent’s roundtable. Some of our wonderful students will become business owners, dedicated employees and entrepreneurs, some will learn the trades and help to improve, beautify and keep so much of our country running with their incredible talents. Some will enter the military or become first responders to protect each of us and others who will go on to secondary schools to study any number of professions and they will help change lives.
We all know that giving back is not about extravagance, and we see daily throughout FLRSD and this community, the generosity and spirit of giving that our incredible faculty and staff, as well as so many of our students, contribute to daily. Our Faculty,Paraprofessionals, Principals, Assistant Principals, Nurses, Support Staff, Coaches, Counselors, Advisors, School Psychologists, Schedulers, SRO, Food Service,Maintenance and Custodial Staffs, as well as Central Office Administration and Staff, School Committee, Town Officials and Support Staff, First Responders and Our Community Partners give “gifts” daily to our students and this community, in the form of time, care, support and kindness all of which are priceless. So I ask all of us to again, take a moment and reach out to say thank you, extend a hand, make a call rather than simply text, visit someone who could use your time and most of all, let those who might not know you appreciate them, that you do. It is one of those magical gifts for both parties.
This heart-warming story, sent to me by a parent, proves we are never too young to give back and that the cost can be minimal and yet, the results are life altering- just as they are for everyone who is the recipient of something our students are doing!
When 7-year-old Ella Tryon was hospitalized last year, she turned to one of her favorite activities for comfort - coloring. Now she’s collecting crayons to make sure young patients across the country can share the joy. “I like that you can come up with something in your imagination and draw it on a piece of paper,” says Ella.
Hooked up to a feeding tube and IVs, the Montville, Ohio, youngster was conﬁned to her room at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital while being treated for a severe allergic reaction to gluten. Her mother, Jackie, went to the hospital playroom in search of crayons. She was told the hospital could not maintain a sufficient supply due to cross-contamination concerns.
With the help of her mom, Ella set out to make the hospital as colorful as its name. Dubbing her project, Color Me A Rainbow, she began soliciting donations through word of mouth and social media. In October, she delivered 13,132 boxes of crayons and 254 coloring books donated from across the country.
“Neighbors and friends were driving a half-hour to bring 10 boxes of crayons because they just wanted to be a part of it,” says mom, Jackie, whose basement is filled with crayons and books. Ella, who has become known as “The Crayon Kid,” writes a personal note to each recipient, hospital, as well as to donors. And now hospitalized kids who received crayons (and their parents) are paying it forward by donating new boxes of crayons back to Ella’s cause.
The little girl has big dreams. She wants to donate 1,000 crayon boxes to every children’s hospital in the U.S. and plans a special delivery of 5,000 boxes to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. And after she’s reached every children’s hospital in the country, she plans to start over and donate again because there will always be new patients in need. “I want to help as many people as I can as often as I can,” Ella says. “And I’m not going to stop!”
As reported to Gary Michaels.
To those of you reading this, THANK YOU for being “the color” in someone’s world. You brighten them up with your time, your heart and your efforts. And thank you to everyone here at FLRSD and throughout the community for paying it forward and simply “being awesome” in ways no one but a few get to see.
May you all continue to color the rainbow. During the dark times we must always try to be the light for others and ourselves! Just as our students within FLRSD do everyday in so many wonderful ways.
Alan Strauss, Superintendent
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