Cole, Alex, & Anna Grace

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

And the winner is....

If you read my previous post, you know that Cole was involved with two projects - a 4-H project and a science fair project. I will not go into the details about the disappointment with his science fair project, but I will say that we really feel that he was not judged accurately and fairly. He was not upset that he did not win the science fair, but he was heartbroken that the judge did not seem to complete the scoring rubric accurately. After the disappointment of the science fair, Cole was scheduled to spend a Saturday presenting his 4-H project on origami at the regional competition. He traveled on a bus (with Mike in the car following the bus) to the 4-H camp to enjoy time with other 4-H kids and complete their presentations.
(These are the kids presenting in the regional competetion from our county.  Cole is towards the right side in a black jacket).

I stayed home with Alex and Anna Grace while Mike and Cole spent the morning playing basketball and hanging out with kids from all over the northern half of our state.

In the afternoon, just before Cole was scheduled to present, Mike called me on the phone to tell me that Cole had changed into his khaki pants, sweater, and dress shoes and was ready to present but then he accidentally kicked one of his dress shoes into the lake and they had to retrieve it with a long stick! His good Sperry was soaking wet!! Thankfully, he had a pair of old Nikes with him to wear, but he definately was not dressed as nicely as he had planned. Mike called me laughing to tell me that Cole kept saying, "It is a good thing that Mommy didn't come. She would not be very happy with me!"
Cole did a great job with his presentation and it did not seem to matter that he was not wearing proper shoes.
He was so excited that he won first place in his category!
We are proud of him for taking the initiative to complete this project, practice it every night, and present it two different times. Public speaking is a life skill that will help him in his future, and he is excited that he won the county level and regional level competitions with his project. Several nights later after the competition, his 4-H leaders hosted a skate night for all of the 5th graders.

Cole is growing up so quickly, but he has mixed feelings about finishing his last few months of elementary school. Even though he is excited to start middle school in the fall, I think he is a little sad to see the end of his elementary school years. He has become involved in producing the morning video announcements for his school and is involved in the safety patrols. We have been talking a lot about how he can be involved in clubs and activities at the middle school, but he is a little sad that he will be leaving elementary school behind soon.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Origami and Generosity

So, what do origami and generosity have in common??? They are both the topics of Cole's recent projects. Cole's first project that he completed for the local 4-H was on folding paper ninja stars. He created a backboard and presented a demonstration to a panel of judges in a county competition and won first place! Now he is headed to the regional competition with is project where he will compete against kids from all over our region of the state.
Cole's other project that he recently completed was the science fair project for his school. This project was much more involved and time-consuming. We talked for a long time about what he wanted to do for his science fair project, and we finally decided that we wanted to do something that would benefit others. So, Cole tested the generosity of others by collecting food for the local food bank in 3 different income level neighborhoods.
His project involved a lot of research and hours and hours of knocking on doors asking people to donate food. In the end, his prediction that the middle income level would be the most generous was wrong. The lowest income level was the most friendly, appreciative, and generous to others! We don't know if Cole has won an award for his project yet, but it does not really matter.
Cole learned so much about giving to others, and he was able to see first-hand how some people who have far less than us with our fully stocked pantry will give until they have very little left to give. Cole will always remember the sweet old lady who only had 6 cans in her cabinet, but gave 3 of them away... and, the single mom who had 5 kids all line up in the grass with their arms full of food waiting for Cole as he pulled his red wagon down the street. He learned how to conduct an interview when he interviewed the director of the local food shelter, and he was so excited to deliver his cans that he collected.
He wrote page after page of observations, research, and calculations in his log book and typed a report that was over 20 pages long. I believe Cole will always remember the lessons that he learned about generosity and helping others.