It's About Them

Young People … Our Greatest Resource

What Are You Willing to Do?

I was in Lousiana doing training for St. John’s Parish schools earlier this week when I had the opportunity to hear Ron Clark deliver an awesome keyote address to the educators gathered there. (Ron Clark is a North Carolina boy, the teacher about whom the film, “The Ron Clark Story,” was made. He was played by actor Matthew Perry. It’s a compelling story about Clark’s work with challenging students and circumstances in New York City’s Harlem.)

During his presentation, Ron shared a story about an effort he once made to encourage students to pay closer attention in class. He challenged them that, for every two minutes he had the undivided attention of the whole class, he would chug a lunch carton of chocolate milk. (He assured them that, if they did pay attention, he would most certainly throw up eventually.)

The plan worked. Ron shared how he made it through 14 cartons before … well, you know.

What happened next, however, was something he had not planned on. That evening, these students gave their folks an account of what had happened in class. Ron then began hearing from parents. They told him that, if he was willing to make himself sick to hold their child’s attention in class, he had their complete support.

My apologies go out to Ron Clark for this poor rendition of a story he told with such gusto, but I mention it here in support of his continuing work with young people. It poses an interesting question:

Just how reachable would kids be if we were willing to pay the price to make it happen?

Well, he charged my battery; that’s for sure.

Ron Clark’s efforts to challenge youngsters to a lifetime of achievement continue through his school in Atlanta, The Ron Clark Academy.

I wonder if he lets them serve chocolate milk there?

August 6, 2009 Posted by | Educators, Humor, Inspirational, Parents | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment