A Spoonful of Sugar

May 14, 2016

Sometimes I take on large tasks (like this house).  Usually, I have no idea at all of what I have gotten myself into! Perhaps, I see the end of the journey and not the steps/stress to get to the goal.  I had a dream or God gave me the dream…of taking 100 kids on a field trip to see Mary Poppins the musical.  I have never organized a field trip…how hard could it be?

Many of you made the field trip possible as you sent in donations.  Blessing our kids…in case you are wondering…you’ve touched their lives…and their eyes light up whenever the musical is mentioned.  You trusted me and believed in the dream.

The easy way would have been to:

  1. Take fewer kids
  2. Take a total classes
  3. Not worry about how they were dressed

I did not want to do it the easy way.  I wanted to touch the lives of those kids…who needed to go.  Those who may never have gotten this chance otherwise.  I wanted to bring those kids that struggle and those kids that are quiet and do not always shine out in good or bad ways.  100 3rd, 4th & 5th graders pulled from 9 different classes.  I could not do it alone.  My team at school saw and supported the ‘vision’.  Was it easy?  No.  Did everyone think I was doing ‘it’ right?  No.  One teacher was difficult.  She did not feel one student ‘deserved’ to go.  Let me tell you, she was right.  He did not ‘deserve’ to go, but my dream was not about ‘deserving’.  My dream was about a gift.  Grace.  This teacher sucked the wind out of my sails.

Some of our kids live in trailers.  Some of our kids do not have two parents.  Some of our kids do not have lots of food in the house.  Some of our kids come to school dirty.  Most of our kids have never, seen anything like this amazing play!  It was…’practically perfect’!

When a large part of your student body has a free or reduced lunch, you can not just tell kids to bring a lunch from home.  Lunches have to be ordered, except the kids do not like the school bagged lunch, so some of them will find a way to bring a lunch from home…except…the lunch ordering needs to be done a week in advance… 100 kids to ask about lunch next week?

I didn’t want to make extra work for anybody else at school…but I did.  Unfortunately, a lot of extra work…I might owe them a few martini’s (off school grounds of course).

I wanted to raise the bar for our kids.  “We dress nicely when we go to the theater”, I told them, “We come to school with clean hair and we look our best.  This is special and it shows respect to the actors who have worked so hard on this performance”.  I knew when you dress up kids, they act differently.  I knew when you dress up kids, people respond to them differently.  I knew when you dress up kids and they receive positive responses it is a win-win.  I wanted to make this special in all ways.mary poppins kidsCan you tell which kids have little?  mary poppins boysDo you like our flower boutonnieres that My Librarian made to show which group each child was in…after all we were getting ‘dressed’ for the play.  She only had to make…110.mary poppins selfie kidsThe morning we left…two teachers took it upon themselves with peanut butter and bread to make sandwiches for those kids who forgot their lunches.  A parent was at the store buying shirts and ties for boys who had nothing…good work can be done alone…great work takes a team…mary poppins elijahWaiting for a show that started late…100 excited kids.  10 chaperones…and my hopes.mary poppins kids wigglingThe show ended late, we missed the buses when we got back to school.  I made a lot more work for a lot of people, teachers who stayed to call parents.  Phone calls and chaos…  Was it easy?  No.  Was it worth it?

Just mention the play to our kids…

their eyes lite up,

they smile and that’ll tell you…that it was awesome.

We are blessed to be a blessing.

Thank you for blessing them.mary poppin thank you

  • Dawn Stimson Ellis

    I’m so glad that these kids have someone special like you to brighten their lives. It was a lot of hard work but the memories made were priceless! Good job Ellen and your helpful crew.

    • Thank you for being part of the crew that made it happen! I hope to be that ‘teacher’ that they remember believed in them!

  • Miriam

    What a special treat you gave those children. The whole experience will stay with them their entire lives. Who knows? Maybe 20 years from now, one of those special kids will be an actor and be interviewed on the Tonight Show. And will tell the story of how they went to see Mary Poppins because Ellen, the library lady, thought it was important.

    • That makes me smile! …and the other 99 thought that we thought they were worth the time and the effort! Thank you!

  • Christa Peitzman

    The fact that it wasn’t easy or routine will cement it that much more for those kids! Well done Ellen!!!

    • I could not have done it without you! What a wonderful team God provides. Thank you!

  • Richard Godley

    Wonderful story Ellen – blessings from this side of the pond.

  • Joed Glaser

    It was a magical day! Your time, energy, and preparation paid off!! I love how you love those kids! Thanks for letting us be a part❤️

    • THANK YOU for being a part of it. I loved having you along and Roger as chaperone’s comment, “I knew where they all were at the beginning and at the end…the middle?”

  • Lorie Ames

    Oh, Ellen…the lasting impact your sacrifice (and that of others) will have on these kids is immeasurable! Thank you! Should you decide to take something like this on again PLEASE contact me…i want to help!!

    • Wow, that would be great. I am not good at asking for help, but next time… I know who to turn to, so thank you!

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