09 November 2009

Bringing out the best in kids

West Ashley Optimist's Club, Bessinger's BBQ, Savannah Hwy, Charleston, S.C.

Every year at this time I make you recite the Optimist's Creed. All together now:

The Optimist Creed
Promise Yourself
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

The Optimist's Club Mission is to:
Mission Statement
By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in kids.

How charming is that? If it didn't require meetings, I swear I'd join myself. Each year they have a Community Service Recognition Ceremony and I am allowed to nominate a couple of teenage volunteers. I broke my self imposed quarantine (head cold) to go to Bessinger's BBQ and proudly introduce my students. These kids represent service work done in hospitals, parks and the aquarium etc. Congratulations!

One of my favorite things about this picture is that each of them is trying to make eye contact with parents. Love that!

The only fund raising project of the West Ashley Optimist's Club is selling Christmas Trees on Playground Road each year. Make a note of it! I wouldn't get my tree anywhere else.