Purpose: Many adolescents and teenagers are lacking effective adult mentorship in their lives. Searching for role models to emulate, they have turned to “the celebrity culture” for guidance and direction.
By obtaining “Words of Wisdom,” written specifically for our class by famous and important people from around the world, it was my hope that our students might be positively impacted by such personal and direct interaction with these highly influential people.
Program Proposal: To send letters to important and successful world figures, celebrities, and sports personalities – asking them to respond with “a few words of wisdom” for the students of Gull Lake Middle School.
The responses would be displayed in the school at a special location for the purpose of motivating our students toward their own personal success.
Actions: Sent letters to more than two hundred people during the first two or three weeks of summer vacation, allowing sufficient time for the delay in response time. The letters solicited a few words of encouragement to the students of our school. The printing and mailing costs were paid privately, costing the school nothing.
Expected Results: We recognized that many letters would go unanswered, but we also believed that we would receive just as many with good advice and words of support.
An intangible, immeasurable, yet very important factor, would be the sense of interaction that our students would feel when they saw such personal words of support and encouragement coming directly from these important and world famous people to them at Gull Lake Community Schools.
Additional Benefits: The project would give us the opportunity to educate as well as influence. By presenting biographical information with each letter displayed, we were able to help our students learn about such less well known, yet important, figures such as Sir Edmund Hillary, Julia Child, Alan Greenspan and Kofi Annan .
Also, many celebrities sent us valuable autographed memorabilia ( Brett Favre and Jimmy Buffett signed hats, Orlando Bloom signed poster, and several signed books) which we donated to the school library or auctioned off as student council fund-raisers.