Oct. 23, 2009: ‘The Power of One’ grows as school year progresses, by Kevin Steinert

“The Power of One. One Person Making a Difference Every Day.”

This is the theme for the 2009-10 school year at Concordia Middle School and Concordia Junior High School. Simple, direct, to the point. For whatever reason, students are excited about this year’s theme like no other I have been involved with. Along with a positive push from the CJHS Friends of Rachel and Student Council groups, the year is off to a great start!

Just before school started, the CJHS Student Council, under the direction of Dustin Bender, met to discuss the upcoming year and what they wanted to accomplish. Within that discussion came the idea of “The Power of One.” Several weeks later, the idea is growing in intensity.

At this point you might be asking, “Just what is this ‘Power of One’?” Look no further for an answer to your question than this true account.
One day a boy was walking home from school with all his books in hand. Some boys came up to him and knocked him to the ground, breaking his glasses. Of course, the boys then ran off laughing.

Another boy, standing just across the street, saw the entire incident. He quickly ran across the street to help the boy, who was quite appreciative for any help he could get. To make a long story short, the two boys became great friends.

Years later at high school graduation, the boy who had been bullied, now the class president, gave a speech at the commencement ceremonies. After addressing the audience, he turned his attention to his good friend who had helped him that day many years ago. No one could believe what he then said. ”I am here to tell you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.” He went on to tell how he had planned to commit suicide that day many years ago and was carrying all his books home so his mother wouldn’t have to clean out his locker at school.

“The Power of One” was surely at work that day long ago. Students at CMS and CJHS are learning that one simple act of kindness can make a huge impact as it did in the story. They are learning that each person makes a decision every day in regard to whether they will help build a person up or tear them down. This “power” cannot be taken lightly. Each of us has a responsibility to use the “power” correctly.
Exercise your right to do so.

— Kevin Steinert is the grades 5-8 guidance counselor for Concordia Middle School and Concordia Junior High School. He has been an educator for 25 years.

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