I was lucky enough to have been invited to talk to the students of PS 3 on their last day of "Respect For All Week." I was first given a tour of the school, which seemed quite large for an elementary school! I visited the classrooms of kindergarten and 1st grade students, and was even sung a beautiful song by a pre-k class! The funniest part of my day was when a little boy asked me if I was wearing my crown because it was my birthday - too cute.
Next on the schedule was an assembly with all of the 4th grade students. At first, I found it difficult to think of a new topic to bring to the kids. "It is the most important form of respect," I told them, "to respect who you are and to not change for anyone."
I spoke directly from experience. Many of my closest friends know this story. When I was in pre-school, I was convinced that I was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. I dressed like her, carried a dog that looked like Toto, and told everyone to call me Dorothy - to the point where all of my classwork said Dorothy on the front, and Jamie on the back (for my parents). As I told this story to the 4th grade students of PS 3, they laughed. "But this is what people do every day."
What fun would life be if everyone was the same? I received some great answers, which proved just how much they've all learned throughout the week.
"I do gymnastics."
"I like to watch football even though I'm a girl
and boys think that I shouldn't."
And my personal favorite:
"My personality makes me unique."
rticipation! Both the students and teachers were extremely receptive and I appreciate all of the thoughtful questions and eager pa
After the assembly, I was asked to visit the 5th grade classrooms and speak to them about "Respect For All." They, too, had great questions. It's so nice to see young kids getting involved in helping others!
To complete my day, my tour guide, Linda Marone (the parent coordinator at PS 3), took me to the PS 3 annex, which is a separate building on the grounds of Mt. Loretto. The 2nd and 3rd grade classes are held in this building. She wore her crown and was so excited that I was able to make her truly feel like a princess. Again, I went into each classroom, spoke with kids and answered questions. The most common question: How did you get to be Miss Staten Island?
My day at PS 3 was both fun and inspiring. I would like to especially thank Linda Marone for coordinating my visit, and the two assistant principals, Ms. Lorrie Brown and Ms. Danielle Papa, who allowed me into the school and took time out of their schedules to accommodate me! And even though you could not join us, thank you to Principal Wilson for allowing me into PS 3.
As I say all the time, I love to see kids who are involved in volunteering at such a young age because it provides the foundation for them continuing on into adulthood. I'm very proud of you PS 3! Keep up the good work and remember: You can do anything you set your mind to if you stay true to yourself and never give up!