Blame it all my roots…a famous line from a well-known country artist which runs true for me. If it weren’t for teachers, staff and coaches in the Heath City School systems, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
This past Friday, I had the opportunity to present the NASCAR Unites campaign and show videos of the finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award to the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students at my old elementary school, Stevenson Elementary School.
The principal, Mrs. Coleman, and her staff have done an exceptional job and have even been recognized by earning the “Excellence with Distinction” award. My introduction by Principal Coleman was truly heartwarming. And, not but ten feet from the gymnasium where my presentation was held was the classroom where I had attended Kindergarten…lots of good memories!
As the students filed into the gym, I looked around, eager and hopeful my time with them would be inspirational. I shared with them a fun video trailer of the new video game, NASCAR Unleashed. Their reactions were so genuine – OHH, COOL! I take pride in working with great companies who make it a priority to give back to their communities and the publisher of this video game, Activision, always looks for fun ways to make a positive impact on communities worldwide. As you may have read, they are the charity sponsor for the Battle of the NASCAR Kids video game tournament which will be held at Homestead Miami Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 19th. In support of my appearance, Activision sent me copies of NASCAR Unleashed to use as a reward for exceptional student leaders at Stevenson.
As my presentation continued, I shared the videos of our 4 finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. I had breakfast with my mom earlier that morning and she shared that I might want to ask the children if they knew what “Humanitarian” meant. Great thought! Thanks, Mom. Living in a world where I interact with adults, I hadn’t thought of explaining that word. “It’s a big word that means helping others,” is the definition my mom offered. And the children definitely comprehended that definition. With big eyes and 100% attention dedicated to watching the videos, the children were eager to talk about each video and understood that they can make a difference at any age.
At the conclusion of my presentation, I had fun Officially Licensed NASCAR prizes to award to the student leaders who had been nominated by their teachers. And then, I had one last surprise for ALL of them – their own NASCAR Unites blue arm band. A small momento to help inspire them to start their own volunteer project, so they can be nominated for this award next year.
Thank you again to Principal Coleman, all the teachers, staff and students. I am so proud of you and look forward to keeping tabs on you all.