5.17.2012

Just One Vote

Today's post is based upon a true story about a character kid named Katherine,
 her quest to make a difference and the difference her vote would make.
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Her dad couldn’t believe she even wanted to run again, but Katherine had wanted to serve on Student Council for as long as she could remember.  She ran for a spot in second grade, then again in third grade, and now in fourth.  She’d lost big twice before, but she was determined to give it another try.  This time around, she lost by one vote. Just one. And even though she hadn’t won, Katherine was exuberantly happy.  “I actually lost by a lot more than that the last two times I ran!” 

It was so close – 13 to 12 – just one vote.  

When she told her parents she wanted to run again, they weren’t convinced it was a good idea.  “Oh, dear” replied her mom.  “Don’t you remember how upset you were when you lost last time?” and her dad cautioned, “Are you sure you want to give it another shot?”  But Katherine felt confident.  “I know that I could make a difference at Whitlock Elementary if I can just get elected.”

Katherine wrote her speech with one question in mind:  What positive changes could she make at her school?  As she thought back through her years at Whitlock Elementary, Katherine knew she wanted students to do something significant to make their world better. 

On Election Day, Katherine gave her speech first.  She bubbled with excitement as she shared her good-deed ideas with the class. “My dream is that we could be a Pay It Forward School.  We could have collections like The Souper Bowl of Caring to help stock our local food pantries and tackle hunger.  We could start a Do One Nice Thing Club and help others by writing letters to soldiers, collecting socks for the homeless, or sending flower seeds to a women’s shelter.  We could even hold a Pet-A-Thon to groom and exercise pets, then donate the money we raise to a local Animal Shelter.”

The possibilities seemed endless, and Katherine overflowed with enthusiasm, passion and energy as she explored service opportunities with her class.  She ended her speech with this promise: “Together we can make Whitlock a better place for everyone.”

Natalie was next.  Focusing on her prior experience, she made her speech short and sweet:  “I’ve handled the task of Student Council representative for two years now and you know my track record.  We've had a dance, a social, and a picnic.  If elected, I promise we’ll have even more fun and make this our best year ever.” 

When it was time for the actual election, Katherine realized that she didn’t really know for sure if voting for herself would be the right thing to do.  Before she could ask, she heard her teacher say to put their heads down on their desks.  “Boys and girls, please raise your hand to vote for the candidate whom you feel will do the best job for us this year.”

One by one, first for Katherine, then for Natalie, the students quietly raised their hands to vote.  In the end, the teacher announced that Natalie had won by one vote.  Just one vote. 

While Katherine felt a tinge of disappointment, she was also pretty excited that she had come closer to serving on the Student Council than she ever had before, and that gave her hope that one day she might win.

At dinner that night, Katherine excitedly told her family all about her campaign, their speeches, about the silent voting process.  “I came so close to winning this time!”  Her parents were encouraged by her enthusiastic attitude and they admired the hope and confidence they heard in her voice.  “We are so very proud of you.  It’s inspiring how you never give up,” they told her.  

At tuck-in time, her parents ready to put the issue to bed, Katherine asked just one question:  “Mom, Dad, do you think it'd be okay for me to vote for myself instead of Natalie next year.” 


6 comments:

  1. what a beautiful story! Enforces the statement Character is what you do when no one else is looking.

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  2. Okay, I'm tearing up! What an amazing story.
    Barbara
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers

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  3. Wow! Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I love her!! :) If only everyone had the same kind of great character that Katherine has!

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

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  5. I really enjoyed reading this story. Thank you for sharing it!

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