Monday, February 6, 2017

The Great Kindness Challenge at Central

Great Kindness Challenge*
Written by Peyton Williams, Fourth Grade Central Kid

     Do you know what the great kindness challenge is?  The great kindness challenge is where you are kind to other people but you should always be nice to other people,  and on different days you get to dress up. For example on Monday we were supposed to wear neon,and on Tuesday it was superhero day wear a superhero shirt, and on Wednesday we can wear camo green or orange, on Thursday we get to dress up like a decke (or every ten years),and on Friday we can wear miss match  clothes.  On Tuesdays and Thursday there is something called the great kindness station and you can make a card for someone. See why the great kindness challenge is so AWESOME! The great kindness challenge is like a chain or dominos when you set up the dominos then you push one and they all fall over! That is like kindness when you give someone a card or you smile at them or even say something nice it will spread what I mean is they will smile at someone then that person will smile at someone and on an on.  The best thing about this week is the people and what I  mean is that when someone is nice to you then it makes you feel good then you will want to share that good feeling!   When you share that good feeling it makes that person feel special and this week everyone should feel special this week  you! So if you are reading this make someone feel special! I want you to know that you yes you are AMAZING!  Just remember share the JOY!

Brought to you by the K-Kid foundation

We love our world

K Kids Are...


Written by...
Peyton, Jayden ,Peyton,Klaire, Brayden.

Peyton.K     -Kind and caring

BraydenI- interactive and important   

JaydenN- NICE

PaytonD- Determined to make the best world possible  

KlaireN- Nice No Matter What.

PaytonE- Encourage people to do there best

JaydenS- Super star


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Confident in 2017

The following post was written by Christy Launius, our wonderful music teacher.

It’s January again!  It’s that time when many of us think about our goals and dreams for the coming year.  (Didn’t we just do this? It feels like 2016 flew by!)
At Central, many teachers and students choose to simplify this and just choose ONE WORD to sum up our purpose and desires for the coming year. This process is explained in the book, One Word That Will Change Your Life, by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page.
I struggled this January deciding on my One Word for 2017.  There were many words that I considered, like PERSISTENT, DISCIPLINE, CONSISTENT, PRESENT and GIVE.  Although those words are all great, they didn’t quite seem to fit how I was feeling.
As I continued to ponder my word, there was a reoccurring thought process that I realized has always been my default thinking.  Without realizing it, I usually negotiate with myself to settle for less than what I actually dream of doing or being.
I then knew that my word for 2017 had to be CONFIDENT!

Yesterday, while walking down the hallway, I noticed that many of the students had chosen their very own word, made a poster and hung it outside of their classroom!  (Let me just say that this is SO AWESOME!  I wish that I would have had teachers in elementary school that taught me about setting goals and personal growth!)
While glancing at the words, I noticed that someone had also chosen CONFIDENT! How cool!  I had not heard of anyone ever choosing this word, other than myself.  I had to find out who it was!  I peeked my head in the door and asked, “Who chose confident as their one word?”  A sweet little girl raised her hand.  When I explained to her that this was also MY word, she beamed with pride that we had coincidentally chosen the same word.

I asked her later why she had chosen CONFIDENT.  I loved her answer when she said “because I need to believe in myself more.”  Wow! What an amazing growth mindset from a second grader!  She shared how she wanted to believe in herself and have more confidence in her schoolwork, specifically math.
So, this year, Addyson and I are choosing to say:
I am going to learn to do this,” instead of “I’ll never be able to do this.”
What can I do to make this better,” instead of “Oh well, it’s not great, but it’s good enough.”
“This may take some time,” instead of “This is too hard!”

Our students are truly blessed here at Central Elementary to have teachers and staff who take the time to instill these principles!  We can have CONFIDENCE that our children can grow up with a mindset of learning, changing and contributing to our community!

I am confident in this!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunshine at Central

The following post was written by 4th grade student, Kalyn Faulkner.

When it is cold, rainy, and just plain gloomy, Central Elementary makes their  own sunshine in the building. They never let anything get them down because all the students and teachers have great friends and those friends won’t let anyone hurt their best friend. At Central everyone is a great big family. Mrs.Hill and every other teacher will make sure that you and everyone around you is safe and that you get all the education you need!

NO BULLIES ALLOWED!! You will never have to worry about bullying problems because you can sure rely on the teachers, they will handle the problem. Mrs.Howard is our counselor here at Central, she always has your back and will give you great advice to carry out your life happy and  stay strong.

Central loves everyone and everyone in it. If someone gets hurt the ground won’t hold you a friend will, a teacher, someone you can trust will be holding you in there arms and they will help you through the school year. No one will let you down. There is never a limit to how much love and trust there is in Central Elementary.

Times can get rough at Central, I mean every school has there bumps, but you can always remember that no matter what there are wonderful teachers that will help you and encourage.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Love, Learn, Lead: A Mission and a Vision

The following post was written by Bethany Hill, Lead Learner of Central Elementary.

Back in July, our school's leadership team met one evening to make some plans for the upcoming year. When we meet, we discuss many things...some procedural and housekeeping type things, and mostly plans for helping our school better serve kids and families. One of the simple housekeeping tasks on our list was designing what would be on our staff shirt for the new school year. Little did I know how important this would become. 
Our Staff Shirt Logo for 2016-2017 School Year...Future Vision Statement

I have served at Central for two years and one semester, and each day of service has been so fulfilling. I have learned so much about myself as a person, educator, and advocate for kids. My voice has strengthened, and my passion for doing what is best for kids has become a relentless mission. Not a day goes by where I am not inspired by a staff member, child, or family member. Some days my heart breaks for kids, and some days it is overflowing for them. Many days a combination of the two will overtake me. Part of being an educator is becoming emotionally attached to what we do, and who we serve. Passionate educators simply cannot separate their "work" from the rest of their lives. We take our kids home at night in our hearts, and we are continually reflecting on how we can better serve them. 

We love them FIRST. We teach them so they can learn. We model for them so they can lead. 

Love, Learn, Lead.
Three powerful words. Three words I want all of us at Central to LIVE each and every day so our kids will learn to live them as well. Three powerful words that, if woven into all thoughts and actions, can help our kids become empathetic, curious adults who can empower others. 


I ask myself this question every single day...

Does every child in our school feel valued, loved, and capable? 
 That is my goal. I know it cannot be the case every single day 100% of the time, but it is my goal just the same. All of us go through periods of time where we feel inadequate. Knowing people care about me helps me get through moments when I fail, make mistakes, or when things are difficult. When I know I am valued, I will try harder. I won't be afraid to make mistakes because people will support me and help me learn from them. Love must live at the center of our school. It will set the tone for everything else...every word uttered, every action taken. When kids see adults taking care of each other, they know they are to do the same. A culture of kindness breeds love. 

People must know you care before they will listen, learn, and trust you. Our first goal is to make sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that our kids feel loved and cared for. We want them to feel important, and valued. We want them to know we believe in them and that they have a future story. If this doesn't happen, we can still teach, but children will not learn from us. 


Obviously, one of school's number one goals is for kids to learn. This word has so much more to it than simply being exposed to content expected in each grade level. It is more than learning reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. We want our kids to...
  • learn HOW to learn
  • stay relentlessly curious
  • always ask WHY
  • learn their passion
  • discover their genius...what makes them tick?
  • honor learning of others
  • understand that we all learn different
  • help others learn
  • NEVER stop learning
Wow...the word LEARN has a lot to it! We do not take it lightly at Central. We want our kids to understand what learning is truly all about, and to take that with them when they leave us. 


Leading can mean two guide someone while moving forward, and to be in charge or command of. Many see leading as one or the other, but it cannot be. Leading requires guidance, walking alongside others, even stepping back sometimes to follow and allow others to lead. It is not attached to a position, title, or rank. Leadership is about empowering others and growing leaders. We want our kids to know that being a leader starts with THEM. They will be a better person if they lead with humility and empathy in a supportive role.

Leading means doing what is right, even when no one is watching. It also means owning up to mistakes, and learning from them. Great leaders do these things. 

 Love, Learn, Lead. Three powerful words. We at Central are on a mission to live these words each day so our kids can learn to live them. When families and the community live them, kids are reinforced everywhere they look. What would our world be like if everyone used these three words as a filter for all they did and said? Our kids can have a brighter future if we attempt to live these words each day. 

Love, Learn, Lead...PoWErful. Now for the question...Is our vision set? Is this our WHY? My heart tells me it is. Feedback from staff, kids, and our families will guide it to where it needs to go. We will combine our goals and needs for our kids, and we will do this together. 

Bethany Hill, Lead Learner

A special thanks to Niki Spears, Chief Energy Officer of The Energy Bus for Schools Leadership Journey, and to Jon Gordon, for trusting Central Elementary to be a model school. We have learned so much, and we are stronger because of your belief and support. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Never too Old to Learn

The following post was written by Central 4th Grade Teacher, Dawn Coyle. 

You’re never too old to learn …

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I’m guilty of asking this question to my students.  My favorite answers are when they list more than one dream job!  I love that they are open to more than one option of what they want do when they are older.

Growing up I remember at different times during school wanting to be a hair dresser, a secretary, or an accountant. Going to college was never discussed as an option in our family.  During high school I worked at a grocery store as a cashier which is where I learned to make and count back change!  That was in 1986, long before scanning and computerized registers.  I tell my students that is why I still know how to make 100 so quickly because of giving back change for a dollar!

After that I went on to become a Mommy!  The best “job” in the world!  Once my daughter started kindergarten I started taking college courses so I could be an accountant.  Tragedy struck when my Mom got sick and passed away so my schooling got put on hold for a while.  I had no idea then how long it would actually turn out to be.

Through the years I held jobs in retail, customer service, sales, did volunteer work, was a legal secretary, and eventually started substitute teaching for Cabot School District.  I remember every single thing about my first day subbing!  I fell in LOVE with the kids, the environment, the classroom, even the smell of school!  I finally decided what I wanted to be when I grew up … a teacher!

At the young age of 39 I went back to college to get my degree in Early Childhood Education at Arkansas State University.  I worked full time while going to school, paid for my entire education, put in a lot of long hours and hard work to make my dream come true.  

I truly believe that you are never too old to learn, or to chase your dreams.  I can’t imagine doing anything else.  Figure out what you love to do, and find a way to get paid to do it!  It doesn’t feel like “work” to me when I am in my element.  Being around kids makes my heart happy and I’m glad that I finally figured out what I was supposed to be!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Central's Energy Pump Jockey: A View from Mr. Rich's World

The following post was written by Rich Thiele, Hallway Hero Volunteer at Central. 
AKA...Mr. Rich!

Opening Car Doors is more than just open a door…

I never knew how much fun and how rewarding it could be to open doors on the car line at Central Elementary.  I also didn’t know how important that seemingly simple task can be to some kiddos.  I started doing this pleasant, no, rewarding task back in 2012 right after I retired.  My grandson was in 1st grade and this seemed like a good idea to help him transition to being dropped off rather than walked in to school; it worked.  But in doing that I discovered how much fun it was and how a positive greeting in the morning would help kids smile and look forward to a good day at school.

Then came the Energy Bus. That is when I discovered that opening doors took me back to one of my first jobs, “pump jockey.”  For many of you too young to know, pump jockey was slang for the person who operated the fuel pumps back when all gas stations offered full service.  The pump jockey was responsible to greet all customers with a smile, a hello, a good morning/afternoon, and a “How may I help you?”  The pump jockey then added the requested amount of fuel, washed the car windows, checked the oil, tires, or any other quick service to satisfy the customer who never had to get out of their car.

How does that equate to opening car doors?  Wait, first what’s an Energy Bus?  What’s that about?

 Well the Energy Bus is a process that Central started last school year and fully embraced this year.  Briefly, it is centered on helping everyone understand they have choices and are responsible for how they act and react to all situations.  Then it gives them some guiding rules for taking that responsibility to make good decisions that will positively impact themselves and those around them (the process refers to “those who are on your bus.”)  For more on that, drop in to our parent center and check out the Energy Bus book.
One of those Energy Bus rules; Rule #3 - Fuel your bus with positive energy.  That’s where I come in as a “pump jockey” opening a car door.  When I open that door it’s just like way back when I was fueling vehicles at a full service gas station.  I greet each student with a smile and enthusiasm, pumping some positive energy to fuel their bus and I also try to fuel their driver with some positive energy.  That’s my job, positive energy fuel pump jockey.  I’d probably wash the car windows and check the oil, but we gotta’ move that car line quickly and safely.

All of us need a positive energy fuel-up some mornings. I get mine from every returned smile, hug, greeting, and wave.  So if my positive energy fuel gauge is a little low I get a full tank quickly on the car line.  Want to fill up on positive energy yourself?  Stop by some morning between 0730 and 0800 and have some fun while getting a full tank of positive energy.  Also, like I said above, come check out the book or if you prefer, get on your Kindle or other device and buy an electronic version.  It is actually interesting and the ideas are logical and simple to apply.

Love and Hugs to all,
Mr. Rich