You’re a Shining Star!

When I look at the stars on the American flag, I see children. I see children I know and children I don’t.  I see children who have lived here for generations and  I see children who have just arrived… whose real point of entry into this country will be the public schoolroom.  I see generations of children with their stories stitched in place against the dark blue background—the color of promise.

On Friday new sand was dumped in the sandbox on the playground at William Fox School.  This was a big event for the children who rushed from every corner as whole classes crammed in.  As crowded as it was, there was room for everyone. It was citizenship in action.   When the children stood up they glittered with this new sand. They sparkled like the stars that they are.

Throughout the year, parents and guests have come to our class to share the customs and traditions of their ancestry.  Earlier this year, a speaker from Tanzania helped us see that many American customs (along with much of our music) have roots in Africa.  Adriana’s mom shared traditions and music with roots in Eastern Europe and Russia.  Last Tuesday Bella’s mom brought in Irish Soda Bread and read Irish stories and poetry to us.  Julia’s mom showed us how to make Celtic knots out of paper.   On Wednesday, Anna and her father played Irish Music.

On Friday afternoon Xon’s mom came and shared her own very personal “Coming to America” story from Vietnam.  She shared a photograph snapped by a Newsweek photographer.  We peered at the brave four-year old Vietnamese girl in the picture who grew up to be Xon’s beautiful and gifted mother sitting before us.

As a tapestry of American Diversity emerges in our classroom, we can see that this country is at its best when it is like the sandbox at Fox.  People come from all corners.  There is room for everyone.  And together we glitter like stars.

About Annie Campbell

Annie Campbell is a National Board Certified third grade teacher and loves her work. She especially enjoys teaching children how to be enthusiastic readers, writers, and problem solvers. Every year, she hopes to inspire her students to be committed citizens who know they can make a difference in the world around them. When she is not teaching, Annie enjoys cooking for family and friends; she likes to lose herself in a good book; she loves discovering new ideas, restaurants, perfect picnic places, and movies with her husband, Ben.
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6 Responses to You’re a Shining Star!

  1. Stacey says:

    I always love watching the digital videos you create since they reflect a larger message and a deeper meaning every time.

  2. Ali says:

    You always inspire me with your posts.

  3. Branch Harper says:

    You are always so wonderful to our newly arrived students, and your kindness will go with them the rest of their lives. Thank you for making room for everyone.

  4. Theresa says:

    Thank you for sharing such inspiring words. The digital video was a powerful too. Your words will stick with me…People come from all corners. There is room for everyone. AND TOGETHER WE GLITTER LIKE STARS. Priceless!

  5. Abbie Radcliffe says:

    love, love, love, love, love, love.
    (as we watched this video, Synia said “Mrs. Campbell is an ARTIST!” that’s an understatement!)

  6. marvene2 says:

    Wow, this piece was very inspirational. I enjoyed how you compared the stars of the American flag to children. “They sparkled like the stars that they are”. This was a great sentence. It was great that many parents were able to come and share with the class their specific cultures. It’s important for students to experience diversity and to understand it. The earlier we teach, the more they can embrace it and shine like stars. The world is full of different people, places, cultures, religions, etc. “And together we glitter like stars”. I loved it, thanks for sharing your writing.

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