The events at the end of the school year can be so involved, and sometimes routine, that I take for granted the important celebrations that go on at South Salem Elementary. For example, our end of the year citizenship assembly was amazing. I was certainly touched by the support of our local businesses and cannot let it go unnoticed. On behalf of the South Salem community, I want to thank the City of Salem businesses and civic organizations for the unending support of our school programs and students.
Many years ago, the Masons of the Taylor Masonic Lodge in Salem began donating two bikes to each elementary school, one for a male and one for a female. They wanted us to reward two students who demonstrate citizenship and hard work.
Trying to keep it fair, I started reviewing progress reports and decided to put the students names in a drawing each time they showed the pillars of character “most of the time.” The contest became known as The Mason’s Bike Drawing. On the last day of the school, Masons Bob Rohrback and Glenn Campbell, came to draw names and present the bikes. This years winners were Sophie Reed and Winston Wolfe.
It seemed silly for us to hold a school wide assembly just to give two bikes away, so I tapped into some of our other businesses thinking others might want to reinforce good citizenship, and it’s the collaboration of each organization giving a little that makes the outcome of this so great!
I would like to acknowledge and thank the following for joining our efforts this year and helping us reward students for good character: Chick Fil A, Salem Ice Cream Parlor, Lee-Hi Lanes, Salem Skate Center and Mac and Bob’s. Bethel Baptist Church also took a major role in providing incentives for positive behaviors. Pastor Hilton Jeffreys also came to draw names and present students with scooters, helmets, a skateboard and several jump ropes. I think it’s important for students to see community members come into the school and reinforce and recognize the importance of their good choices and strong work habits.
In addition, other organizations such as the Salem Food Pantry, the Needlework Guild, the Salem Rotary Club, the Ecumenical Ministries, the DECA Club of Salem High School, Women of the Moose and many other church organizations continue to give to our children and families throughout the school year. I am so grateful to live in this loving community where people donate their time and resources to our students and families.
Thank you for making these opportunities available to our students and continuing to make the City of Salem great.
– Mandy Dallas, South Salem School Counselor