They don't remember 9/11 as we do. They weren't even born the day our nation was put on pause 18 years ago. Yet, our middle school students put together a moving tribute in remembrance of those events for today's Patriot's Day Chapel.

Seventh-grader Tess encouraged her fellow students to honor the memories of those who gave all by making positive impacts in the world.

"Our world needs more positivity and less hate. [We can] stop making negative impacts on our society and make positive ones instead."

She listed several things that she and her classmates can do now to make a better tomorrow.

  1. Don’t yell at people when they make mistakes. Not everybody is perfect and that's okay.
  2. Practice good sportsmanship. There may be no reason to be nice, but it makes a difference.
  3. Include the kid who is always alone. No one should feel left out.
  4. Pick up trash even if it is not yours. It's important to keep our earth clean.
  5. Don’t put people down, lift them up instead. It's important to make everyone feel good.

Our teachers know that you can't only teach empathy and compassion–you have to model it and make room for it to grow. One way to grow these principles in our students is to empower them, like turning over this week's Chapel to a group of five eager middle schoolers as Reverend Sonia Sullivan Clifton did today. 

"I'm really proud of how they came up with the content for Chapel, which included the music selection, the message, and even the content of the prayers. It was their words and their work on stage today."

You can find character development everywhere at Canterbury through programs like the Buddy Program, LEADS, Senior Investiture, service-learning, even in our Mission and Core Values. Director of Character Education Jeff Donnelly on the Upper Campus develops curricula for each grade level that is relevant to our students' developmental and social stages that set a foundation for opportunities like these where students are able to apply what they have learned.