Monday, March 26, 2012

Blue Ribbons

Greetings from Missouri, where I'm doing two days of school visits in North Kansas City schools.  I'm at Ravenwood Elementary right now. The second graders here just finished reading my picture book Ziggy's Blue Ribbon Day.  In that book, athletically challenged Ziggy is dreading track-and-field day.  For each event the children are awarded ribbons, with blue ribbons as best, then red, then gold, and then silver - which Ziggy says isn't really silver, but a "dull, dismal gray." Ziggy knows that his day will bring nothing but a slew of silvers. But when Ziggy uses his drawing talent to decorate his ribbon-holding envelope (if it's going to have gray and gloomy contents on the inside, it might as well be bright and cheering on the outside), his classmates start trading him their blue ribbons in exchange for his decorating their envelopes as well. So Ziggy ends up having an unexpected haul of blue ribbons, after all.

The media specialist at Ravenwood had the second graders each fill out "blue ribbons" of their own, listing their own special talent.  I'm looking at them as I type this:

Cheer Leading
Lego Building
Video Games
Fixing TVs
Kick Ball
Dancing to Rap Music
Help People

The second grade spelling on some of these was quite wonderful, too: "vityo games," "backitboll").

Of course, I'm curious about the child whose talent is fixing TVs.  I'd like to see the child who dances to rap music.  My heart is warmed by the child whose talent is helping people. 

And my heart is also warmed by educators who encourage all children to recognize and celebrate their talents, whatever they may be.

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