Many of you may know that I teach 5th-8th grade at TEAM Academy in Newark, NJ. At a time when most children are swimming in their community pools or on vacation with their families, today, TEAM kids chose to go to school...to volunteer their time working (washing cars)...to support Todd in his fight against cancer. Wow.
Past students, current students, future students, parents, TEAM colleagues, neighbors, cousins, friends, and others coordinated a car wash at our TEAM school in Newark, NJ, complete with home-made posters, beautiful custom t-shirts, spare change collection cans, donated sponges and soap, lots of energy and plenty of smiles and hugs . The sole purpose was to raise money for Todd for his fight against pancreatic cancer. A majority of these people have never met Todd, or have only seen my pics of his kids on Facebook. They did this because Todd is my "Bother" and they know he needs our help. They did this because they have seen Ellis, Wyeth, Owen, and Michelle at TEAM Academy- in person, through my thousands of videos and photographs, and through my stories. They did this because they know my family means the world to me. They did this because it is one of our school mottos, "If a TEAMmate needs help, we give." They did this because the community at TEAM, and more broadly in Newark, is more than just an organization of teachers, parents, and students...they did this because we are Family. We are a TEAM and Family.
One parent also told me that many kids have been selling candy, hosting lemonade stands and saving their allowances to donate to Todd -- anonymously. Why, I asked. Her response was that the students were taught at TEAM to do the right thing, not because they want recognition or reward, but because it's who they are. Those students are demonstrating Kohlberg's level 5 and 6 of moral development -- something we teach them at TEAM Academy when they are in 5th grade. "I do the right thing because it is my moral code." Wow.
I've always believed that I would do whatever it takes to help a child succeed. Never would I have imagined seeing them do whatever it takes to help ME succeed. I am so proud of them, so humbled, so grateful. We are Family. We are TEAM.
Peace - Kris