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The Power of Words & the Potential of a Child

Last week I traveled back in time and landed slap-dab in the middle of elementary school. When I was in third grade the Internet didn’t exist and bell-bottoms and pet rocks were all the rage. Seriously.

Local female bloggers, myself included, joined forces with PositiveDetroit.Net in collaboration with Operation: Kid Equip to provide third graders in Oakland County with dictionaries.

We’ve fully funded the first city in the project, Ferndale, and we began delivering the dictionaries to the students.

As we walked into Ferndale’s John F. Kennedy Elementary School and made our way to the media room the memories flooded back to me. I remembered how much I loved school and learning. And I remembered the late 70's.

Media Room? We had a tiny filmstrip projector and a movie projector that were tucked away in the closet. Yet, we still all fought to be “Captain Audio Visual” as if it were a superhero designation.

The kids gathered in the room and the Principal at JFK, Nancy M. DeRousha, explained why we were there. She told them that we didn’t have any ties to them personally but that we wanted to give them dictionaries.

The appreciation and joy the kids showed was overwhelming. One of the children said that it was like “someone they didn’t know loved them.”

When asked if they knew what a blog was about half of the kids raised their hands! They described it eloquently as "your own website where you can write what you want." What a perfect answer!

They gave hugs, they paged through the dictionaries, and they said thank you. They were inquisitive, smiling, and grateful.

This project is about equipping children with a basic tool, a dictionary, to help them succeed. The power of the written word is immense; words can inspire, encourage, and give hope. We need to maximize the potential of every child in our community.

These children are going to be teachers, doctors, leaders, and writers. I’m betting a few of them will become bloggers too.

Yes, third grade was a very long time ago for me. We didn’t have magical phones that you could use anywhere, computers, or a decent fashion sense.  We had a CB radio in our house (we had a phone too, I'm not that old!), our typewriter wrote in cursive, and I wore my “Disco Sucks” t-shirt proudly.

Times and technology have changed but some things haven’t. As I type away on my laptop it’s easy to forget that many of these children don’t have computers at home or internet access. They can’t surf over to

There are many more communities in Oakland County that still need to be funded. Twenty dollars, otherwise known as a week of Starbucks, would buy 8 of these children dictionaries. Will you help?

Please join Operation: Kid Equip, Erin Rose, Nikki Stephan, Lauren Weber, Jennifer Wright, and me in providing dictionaries to these students by donating here.

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References (2)

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  • Response
    The power of words is immense. When you write an essay or do an assignment, you do not pay attention to the fact that you deal with words. They can teach you something really great.
  • Response
    Meteor shower studies is definitely an awesome theme for that research of report. Along with academic writing help you may make great scientific developments and acquire your Master or perhaps PhD degree!

Reader Comments (4)

Love your post, Becks! I enjoy how you captured a part of your childhood here - it really helps to paint the picture of what we're doing. Keep up all the amazing work on your blog and keep taking awesome pics! @LaurenWeber84

January 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter@LaurenWeber84

Thanks Lauren! The idea came when we walked into JFK Elementary, you and I both remarked how long it had been since either of us had been in a school.

All those third grade memories came rushing back! I even remember my third grade teacher was Miss Cummings and she taught me north, south, east and west. My Principal was Mr. Block and he had a paddle in his office for the trouble-makers!

January 18, 2010 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

How precious is the photo of the boy smiling and holding the dictionary? He looks genuinely happy. I was just as impressed as you that the kids knew how to explain what a blog is!

I'm very honored to be working on this project with you and the rest of the bloggers!

January 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNikki Stephan

I know, that boy is so cute!

I'm am the one that is honored to be working with all of you smart women and Operation: Kid Equip on this project.

January 19, 2010 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

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