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Seed A Need at our School

By Amy E. Johnston

For the past three years, FHMS has introduced a theme to help keep everyone focused on good character. Our first school wide theme was 'Make a Ripple in the Pond'. We hoped to teach our students that everything we do, whether good or bad, has long term ramifications, and that our goodness (or our lack of goodness) can have far reaching effects. Beyond having cool T-shirts for students and staff, we did little else in moving from a theme to action..

Last year's theme was 'Be a Fred'. This theme was based on a humble mailman in the Denver area who went above and beyond to help others every day. Our goal was to imitate Fred and go out of our way to do kind things for one another. We again had cool T-shirts and even made some great buttons. We gave Fred awards and did a better job getting the word out, but our ideas fell a bit short of propelling the majority of us from thinking to actually doing.

This year could be different. The 2009-10 theme is 'Seed A Need' and it has the piece that could very well be what FHMS needs to being walking the talk. In the spring of 2009, two of our very own parents, Eddie Struckman and Art Pender asked to meet with me about the theme for 2009-10. They explained that they had an idea about something we might like to consider. Apparently Eddie, the actual founder of 'Seed A Need', saw the movie Pay It Forward a few years ago and was transformed by its message. He believes that if each of us attempts to make our world a better place, it just might work. He took the idea of passing a good deed forward and added technology creating "Pay It Forward on steroids". The beauty of 'Seed A Need' is it allows anyone who is involved to track their good deeds and to read about the kind acts of others. Eddie says, "We want to awaken people to the endless possibilities each day brings to help someone in need." He challenges us to, "Make the decision to be alert and aware of those around you."

Each student who is interested in being involved in the project will receive a 'Seed A Need' card. When they help someone in need, they can log onto the website, enter their card number, type in what they did for someone else, and pass the card on to that person with the request that they do something kind for someone else and pass the card on to them. This simple idea is already beginning to see 'seeds' sprouting in 45 states and several other countries. In addition to the good feeling you get when you know you have helped someone is need, participants get to track their card and see how many lives it touches. Character Connection Classes will track the good deeds of the class and read recent posts of others who are trying to make our world a better place. Students will be encouraged to carry their card with them and keep their eyes opened for needs and an opportunity to 'plant a seed' that will inspire others to seed another need.

Seed A Need and Frances Howell School

Eddie Struckman

Seed a Need is proud to announce their first affiliation with the school system. Frances Howell Middle has graciously decided to make Seed a Need the theme for this year. FH Middle, led by Principal Amy Johnston, is an excellent school well known for its ability to build character into their students. They were recently recognized by the Character Education Partnership (CEP) for their National School of Character Video.

It was one of my many goals to get this cause into the school system. I couldn't have found a better school than Frances Howell to be our first school to launch seed a need. It is very important to encourage our children to help others. I'm very excited to be working with Amy Johnston and her staff to make this year a huge success!

Seed a Need hopes that after a successful year at Frances Howell that other schools nationwide might adopt this theme. Helping others and doing nice things for people with no expectation for payback should absolutely be part of any student's curriculum. We can't just assume the parents are going to do it, so I'm hoping that other schools see this as yet another opportunity to groom our children into becoming happy, productive adults who will always put people first
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