Monday, January 19, 2009

Better Than Winning

(Listen to this post as an mp3 file)

When I read this article, There are some games in which cheering for the other side feels better than winning, it warmed my heart. I know helping others is important but sometimes I need to be reminded to not sit back but to take action if necessary. This coach asked fans and cheerleaders to cheer for the other team. The other team had a losing record but that isn’t why the other coach asked people to do this. This other team was from a maximum security prison and had no one to cheer for them or encourage them or to even give them hope. They weren’t used to people being nice to them and even expected to see fear and disgust and yes, even hate.

Sometimes there is more to the game than winning. When I saw this story, I was amazed at how people can make change. It took one person to ignite this change and to ask people to help implement it. But what a risk this coach took! How many people thought he was crazy when he asked for their help? How many people thought what he asked was wrong? How many people thought these kids just get what they deserve? Yet, there were enough people to know that this was the right thing to do. They had the courage to know it was important to do this and were willing to do it no matter what. We don’t know what long term impact this can have on those kids but I’m willing to bet it made a difference to many of them. Maybe they will see themselves as valuable human beings and be able to turn their lives around. We just don’t know but we can never give up. We need to always hope that a little hope from us will make a difference in someone else’s life.

After reading this story, I didn’t want to just store that story away and leave it at that. I began to think of my own community and how I could make a difference. I might not have a situation like this but I know there are many kids in the community who have given up or lost hope. One way I plan to do this is to help organizations who help kids and adults who need encouragement. I plan to do more free workshops at schools, the Literacy Association and Parent Advocacy groups. With the knowledge and training I have, many people can benefit from this but with the economy in its current state, can’t afford this. I am already scheduled at a school this month to help train teachers in using Voicethread to reach students of all levels. Since many schools are affected by budget cutbacks, they are thrilled to have someone volunteer to give free workshops. I am also giving two presentations in Charleston, SC at the South Carolina Council for Exceptional Children’s conference. One will be on PBwiki and another on Survival Tips for First Year Teachers.

I have added a Donate button on this blog (it is on the sidebar on the left) for anyone who might want to help me because since I’ve retired, I do not have free access to a LCD projector or a copy machine. Luckily I have been able to beg and borrow to some sessions but it is getting more and more difficult. I have looked at grants for education but all of them require you to be a K-12 classroom teacher so I would not qualify. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks!

Original image: 'LOVE EACH OTHER' by: Ari Moore


Abimbola said...

Thank you for your "Better Than Winning" post, Pat.

Giving hope and encouragement to others is priceless, in my view.

Thank you for the work you're doing. I hope you get the appropriate support you need for your invaluable work.

loonyhiker said...

Abimbola: Thanks for stopping by and reading. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement too!

Paul Bogush said...

Really, really, awesome post! Is this the article you are referencing?

loonyhiker said...

Paul: Yes, that is the article. As soon as I hit publish this post and then checked, I realized the wrong link was there but I fixed it. Thanks!

Olivia said...

Thank you, thank you for having such a giving and kind heart. Many people strive to be like you, but you just have it. You make me feel like I should help out and lend a hand to those in need. When I was reading this post it really inspired me. I am thinking of going around town to see what I can do for others. So thank yu again.

Christopher said...

Hi, thanks for your post. I'm currently in the process of investigating ways to introduce voicethread into my grade 5/6 classroom so if you have any ideas please pass along

loonyhiker said...

Olivia: Glad you liked my post. I feel if each person did one thing, this would spread like wildfire. We shouldn't think that we have to change the world all by ourselves.

loonyhiker said...

Christopher: Maybe my wiki page will help you. It also has my presentation on it. Hope this helps you: