Monday, January 9, 2012

The Impact of One: A Tearful Tale

This is a true story. A tearful tale. 
It's also the sweetest of all experiences.

Debbie Clement, Rainbows Within Reach, Author-in-the-Schools, Rainbow painting
Author/Illustrator Debbie Clement + Kindergarten Artist

Once Upon a Time......
there was a sweet kindergarten child who was excited and looking forward to school.
One 'Magic Monday Morning' there was to be an author/illustrator coming!
She learned all about the author. She learned of the illustrator's love of color.
She learned of her affection for rainbows.
So before that Monday morning ever came to pass?
She prepared.

 She asked her teacher for materials to prepare a gift.
A painting.
A rainbow. Many colors. 
Monday arrived and she was able to give her original artwork to the illustrator --
 to keep forever!!!
They posed and smiled together before the fun began.

They sang.
They read.
They danced.
They used sign language.
It was indeed a magical morning.

photo of: Author Illustrator School Visit, Debbie Clement with Kindergarten

It was also over all together too soon.
Forty five minutes?
It seemed they'd just begun?!?

In the transition of saying good-bye to 80 kindergartners, it would have been very easy for the polka-dotted lady to 'forget' to say good bye to the young artist, but there was an adult tap on her orange shoulder in the midst of all the hustle-bustle of lining up.

As the author turned around......... she saw tears.
Great big crocodile-kindergarten tears.
Sincere, genuine heart-felt tears.
The kind of tears that keep educators forever working-with-children.
The magic moments of Monday were about to transpire.

photo of: Kindergarten HUG!!! Author visits to school and the difference they make on individual students

They were the kind of tears that bring you to your knees.
The kind of bury your head in my shoulder and hug-tight tears of kindergarten.
The kind of "I don't want to let you go" type-of-tears.
The kind of tears that say without words: 
you made a difference to me.

And soon that same teacher-without-a-name came and took the painter by the hand and led her away.
I was the lucky one.
I got to hear the teacher saying, 
"Don't worry honey, we will always have her books in our room.
MizzzzDebbie will always be a part of us."

Tears + Hugs = RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Kindergarten LUV and lessons, Author Visit Impact at Elementary School

And soon it was lunch time and then more students and more classes.

The day was all over and I was in the parking lot nearly ready to sit down,
when that same tap of that un-named teacher hit my shoulder again.

There she was, after her last duty-of-the-day, with her own cash rolled up in her warm hand, chasing me down in the parking lot to make good on her promise.
"I NEED your books for our room!!!!!!"

The things we do for love!!!

It reminds me of my mentor-Mimi and her favorite quotation:

photo of: beach sand and "Teaching is the one profession that permits love." Quote on education

Never under-estimate the power of forty-five minutes....
the power of forty-five minutes
amplified through a teacher's preparation + a child's anticipation.
If all those tears were possible with this brief time together,
do the math on your impact with your students.

Natalia. Your rainbow is forever stored in my heart, too.

Now let's reverse engineer how all of this amazing-ness took place.
I've been working to get my blog connected to a wider audience.
I learned of Teaching Blog Traffic School and signed up!
There in the secret clubhouse I met Denise of Sunny Days fame.
 Low + behold!!!
 It would happen that Denise teaches in a school just minutes away from where we would be 'camping' in a time-share in southern Florida and we had the opportunity months and months ago to figure all that out and begin dreaming-of-this-day!
So Denise went to her principal and they began the work necessary to create a schedule of my seven presentations for their students from the Kinders through Denise's mature second graders.
Our fairy-blog mother would be so proud!!

That's Denise on the left in the picture. She further introduced me to Caitlin of Kindergarten Smiles fame -- that bright smile on the right. How fortunate for them to be in the same building and be able to support one another in all of their efforts. I think the picture conveys just a tad of our excitement to meet in person. It was Denise that captured the pictures above, the ones worth a hundred thousand words.... for which I will always be grateful! Thank you!

In a school of this size, to move 27 classrooms of children through a library, there is a mastermind at work in the front office. I take my hat off to administrators and principals who are flexible to make a day of this magnitude happen. There are schedules to tinker with, recess to rearrange, lunch times to tweek. Special thanks!!! You stand high and proud, above the crowd.

                        STICK YOUR NECK OUT!!!!!
                               Make a difference!!!!!

-- Debbie --

If you were touched by this story, would you pin it, or tweet it or share it thru your fave option?
It seems I'm fortunate to have these sorts of stories to share on a fairly regular basis, how about becoming one of my followers? Those options are up above in the sidebar. THANKS!

This post has been added to TBA's International Blog Hop!! 

Follow The Famous Yellow Road


  1. How awesome is this? I love when you get to meet the author of books! Would you please share this with our readers for Fun Stuff Fridays?

    1. Lindsi. I have tried and tried to get linked up + I just can't get it to work. I'll keep trying. Hopefully you haven't closed it already?

      Thanks so much for stopping by and the personal invitation.


  2. How fun!!! I'm your newest follower and would love it if you could share this here -

    Thanks so much and have a great weekend.


    1. MiaB!!! Thanks so much for the invitation. I'm grateful for the link and hopefully others will have an opportunity to read of my oh-so-awesome day!!!


  3. Looks like fun. Please add my e-mail address to get your blog. Thank you. Susan

    1. Susan. It was indeed a super-fun day!! I'll have to investigate how to enter your email.... (I'm a techno-cave person.) So glad that you found me!

  4. I'm your newest follower - just found you at the linky party. Looking forward to taking a look around! :)

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

    1. Holly!!! Welcome. Happy searching around. I'm bursting with ideas, experiences and inspiration. I hope you come back -- and tell your friends, too!!!


  5. Debbie! I love, love, LOVE this post. So sweet!!
    <>< Crystal

    1. Crystal!!!! It has been so WONDERFUL getting to know you through TBTS! Since you 'know' all of the players in the story -- I bet you did have fun reading. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  6. Thanks sooo much for sharing this wonderful post with us on Sharing Saturday :) Hope you have a great week and looking forward to seeing more of your posts.


    1. MiaB!!! Thanks again for the opportunity to share this happy moment with a wider reading audience.

  7. Amazing! Your story just gave me chills! How far do you travel?? Ever been to Mississippi?? Sending this to my principal today!! Thank you!

    Peace, Love and First Grade

    1. Hi Laura!!! I've traveled as far as Italy before. Last I checked I don't need a passport for Mississippi! LOL. We should have met earlier. Just this week I was in New Orleans/then Tibodaux/then Baton Rouge -- for a series of fun/school visit/conference workshop presentations. We were driving, so Mississippi would have been a simple stop. We spend a big chunk of the winter in Florida and I'm eager to make southern visits. Anything is possible. Put your thinking hat on! I am so blessed to have this opportunity to share.

  8. Replies
    1. Thanks to you for hosting! What a sweetheart to come over and leave a comment. You're the best!



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