November 25, 2009

Young optimists honored by Winter Haven Optimist Club

One hundred and fifty elementary school students were treated to a special day courtesy of the Optimist Club of Winter Haven, Florida as part of Optimist International's worldwide celebration of Youth Appreciation Week.  Four teachers joined the students representing 75 schools in the community.

Following the "do the right thing" model, these students were recognized for being "good kids."  According to program chairman Larry Powell, the Optimist Club was not looking for straight A students or acclaimed athletes.  They wanted to recognize students that often go unnoticed, but are good citizens who do the right things every day.

The special treat for the students was a motivational presentation from two guest speakers: Rick Dantzler who spoke about literacy and reading and Otis Anthony, Senior Director of Diversity Management with the Polk County School Board who made a dramatic speech about being an eagle. "When you are an eagle, you are a beautiful person, a magnificent person and you can soar," he explained. 

Donna Kelley, a reporter with was on hand to record the events. Please read her account of the activity in the great online article here.  The picture was taken by George Aycrigg of the News Chief. 
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