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Choose KIND: Is it more important to be right, or be KIND?

In our society we’ve decided it’s A-Ok to be positively wicked to one another in the name of politics. Christians fight with fellow believers or (worse) with those who look to us to point to Jesus. We belittle and mock and snarl at one another through a screen. Then we go to church on Sundays and sing about Jesus’ love.

It’s appalling.

And, sadly, our kids reflect this desire—our innate, constant, basic desire to be RIGHT. I have it, for sure. I’m right. You’re wrong. Let me prove to you with insults and wit just how wrong you are. Have you ever been swayed by an argument that includes personal attacks? Ever? And, yet, we all use this tactic over and over. I’ve heard students fight over how to properly pronounce Star Wars character names.  I’m willing to fight over health care or immigration or taxes but not think twice about the kind of day a person is having or whether he or she knows Jesus.

Well, last fall I read a book that convicted me of this constant desire to be RIGHT. The book is called “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. The author encountered a very different-looking little girl outside an ice cream shop and instead of treating that girl and her mother as she would other people; she grabbed her kids and ran away. She ran away from what she didn’t understand. The child’s physical appearance was so startling to the author, she couldn’t handle it and she fled. While she left the situation, the situation did not leave her and her memory of that moment outside the ice cream parlor prompted her to write “Wonder.”

Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

Wonder by R.J Palacio – You Can’t Blend In If You Were Born to Stand Out

The story follows a little boy who has a couple chromosomes out of place and the result is a lifetime of surgeries, near death ailments and the looks of “a monster.” He attends school for the first time as a 5th grader. The story is told mostly through his eyes though others jump in once in a while for a different perspective.

One of his teachers shares this precept, “when given the choice between being right or being kind, choose KIND.”

These words stuck with me in a powerful way though ultimately they are only a small part of the book’s message.

I’m reading this special book with our 4th and 5th graders right now. We’re discussing hard topics like friendship, prejudice, fear, birth defects, death and betrayal. It’s not always pretty. We disagree from time to time but books, really good books, do that to people. They make us think and feel as we haven’t before. They make us contemplate our actions and check ourselves:

“Is it more important to be RIGHT or does this situation call for being KIND?”

When we’re done reading it, you’re welcome to borrow BCA’s copy. Or take yourself to the public library and grab one. Our nation seems so divided, so busy being RIGHT but perhaps we can all learn from a children’s book about the importance of being KIND. Imagine the difference that would make!

Pledge to Choose Kind

Pledge to Choose Kind-ness instead of Right-ness

– Lisa Wellman, Librarian

The Rewards of Reading

Of course reading is a reward in and of itself. We all know that. My parents constantly had a book or magazine in their hands during my childhood. I learned early on that if I wanted to eat, I had to get that book out of mom’s hands and move her toward the kitchen. Now my children have learned the same lesson…

Reading is a joy. It can also mean prizes of a more tangible nature. Each year, Bannockburn Christian Academy scholars participate in a series of reading rewards programs.


Bluebonnet Books

The Texas Bluebonnet Award Program was brought to my attention by BCA mom, Traci Huckabee. I was born and raised in Kansas and knew nothing about Bluebonnet Books. I do now. The TBA selection committee takes suggestions from librarians, teachers, parents and students and comes up with a list of both fiction and non-fiction books. These titles are considered for student interest, relevant content and literary quality. This year third through fifth grades will read from this list of distinguished books and join thousands of other Texas school children to vote for their favorites. Voting takes place in January but we’ll read these books all year long.

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Pizza Hut Book It!

I participated in Book It! all through elementary school. In my small, rural hometown, Pizza Hut was really the only restaurant we had. It was a huge treat to read those books, go to The Hut and choose that delicious personal pan (pepperoni, obviously). Well, thirty years later, kids can still enjoy this special meal! First through fifth grades read all year long (the program spans October through March) and if they turn in their classroom reading log each week, their teacher lets me know. Once a month I hand out coupons good for those personal pans!


Six Flags Read to Succeed

Now this reading program might be my favorite just because it makes it possible for our family of four to spend a day at Six Flags each summer without taking out a second mortgage. Kindergarteners through fifth graders earn a FREE Six Flags ticket by reading! The savings is substantial and the kids only have to read six hours to earn it! I will send home reading logs specific to this program. Its deadline is in February.

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Summer Reading Medals of Excellence

Last Wednesday, September 23 during Chapel, I presented Summer Reading Medals of Excellence to twenty-nine BCA scholars. These children read all summer long, kept a log and turned it in during the second week of school. It’s so easy to lose skills over the summer if we don’t stay in practice! Summer Reading encourages kids to read during their vacation because who doesn’t want a shiny, medal to wear for the entire world to see? That’s why they do it. We run the program to sneak in a bit of learning in between their trips to the beach, skinned knees and Minecraft marathons.


Yes, reading is its own reward but at BCA, we add a cherry on top for good measure. If you want detailed information about any of these programs, please come see me!


Lisa Wellman, Librarian

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