Thursday, March 14, 2013
The Beech Hill Elementary School fifth grade boys reached an important milestone in their young lives during the annual “Tied To Brightness” event held March 8 in the school cafeteria.
Fathers, grandfathers, mentors, and other distinguished guests and role models, such as members of the Tuskegee Airman, enjoyed breakfast with the youngsters and helped them try on a new item of menswear, a necktie.
“Tied to Brightness” is a special event Beech Hill Elementary does every year for its fifth grade boys. The idea, says Principal Renee Harris, is to connect with the fifth grade boy, celebrate their accomplishments at BHES, and give them an opportunity to enjoy a personal rite of passage in their lives.
The receiving of a necktie by each fifth grade boy marks a symbolic benchmark in his life as he moves closer to becoming a young man, she said.
Fathers, mentors, and their sons and charges agreed.
“I think it’s a very special event,” noted Mark Osowski as he helped son Bryan tie his new necktie. “I think it’s pretty uncommon to be able to do this, I think it’s important, and I think a lot of people miss the opportunity.”
Bryan said he enjoyed the event.
“It’s a wonderful event and it’s good family time,” he said.
In years past, the boys chose from a stock of donated neckties in a wide variety of styles and colors. This year, for the first time, each fifth grade boy received an official monogrammed BHES necktie, done in BHES colors, donated by BHES business partners Dr. Roland Fulcher and Scott Mongillo. Dena Sellers from Ashley Ridge High School monogrammed the ties.
Teachers, staff, and PTA volunteers served breakfast to the boys and their mentors.
Guest Speaker Rob Fowler, Chief Meteorologist of Storm Team 2, shared with the group how he always knew he liked weather and was able to achieve the dream of being a television meteorologist.
“If you have a dream, if you have a goal, you can reach it,” Fowler said. “It’s not easy, it is hard work, and your personal appearance is important – and how you dress is part of that. This may seem like something trivial, but it’s not. You’re learning something that you can take forward in your life.”
Fowler than encouraged the students to go for their dreams but also noted that they should look for opportunities to help others as well.
Mirrors around the room were soon occupied as youngsters – with the help of dads and mentors – put on their ties for the first time.
The boys and the mentors also recited special pledges. The boys pledged to stand ready and willing to learn from their mentors and to always strive for their personal best.
The mentors, in turn, pledged to stand ready to support the youngsters as they continue to grow, learn, and develop.
“I have very much enjoyed today,” DD2 Superintendent Joe Pye said. “It’s my first time attending and I’m so glad to take part in this event. Schools teach a lot more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic these days – this is one of many ways we try to give our kids leadership skills and opportunities. The more, and the earlier, we can do that, the better prepared they will be.”