I have a super strength and it’s the power of words. They are my gift to the world. I created LivBits to share my story, and I hope that every Bit means something to someone. I know that sounds like a super BIG idea, but it’s true, I hope my words matter.
In the last few weeks, I’ve had lots of experiences where words have made my #heartbeep. One of the most powerful experiences was my visit to Conway Elementary School in Conway, NH. I got to talk to ALL the students about the power of sharing your story with the world. It was an incredible day, but some of the words the kids shared with me were so thoughtful and special, they are now part of MY story.
My talk was a part of their Cougar Pride Family time. Every single student has someone on staff leading their family and kids are in multi-age groups to bond and work together. This year, they have special shirts that say: “Ask me about my super strengths!” It was so amazing to look out at the audience and see the staff and students in a sea of maroon colored shirts sharing this message.
I am not going to lie, I ALWAYS get a little nervous when I am speaking to older kids, and especially middle schoolers. It’s mostly because I wonder if they will take me seriously. I'm not that cool and I talk A LOT. I know that can annoy people. Still, I like to think my energy is contagious and when kids are around me, they know I am FOR them!
Actually, I often have so much energy in my body; I sometimes do front walkovers to get it out! Since there wasn’t enough space in one of the 6th grade rooms for me to do a walkover, I might have dropped down into a split because of my nervous excitement! Even I still can’t believe I did that! Hehehehe!
As I was visiting the 6th grade, one of the girls turned to her teacher and said, “Liv’s smile is bigger than my future.” At first, I thought maybe I misheard her. When I left the room, I asked my mum if those were her words. We talked about how kids teaching kids can really inspire, and how just a simple smile can change a person’s day. But, deeper than that, my mum explained how when someone says something like that, they admire you in a super special way.
Then, I got several notes from 3rd graders. One said: “The world is a better place and my hero is Liv...all I have to say is be an inspiration like Liv and keep reading books that you really love!” Another said, “You are really good at teaching kids and inspiring us!” Someone else said, “I want to be you!”
What an incredible gift these kids gave me in Conway! I was supposed to be there giving to them, but really they gave so much to me. The words they used to describe, compliment, and connect with me are so powerful for my heart. They make me believe even more deeply that #kidsCANteachus.
So, I challenge teachers, schools, authors, and parents: how have you created opportunities for kids to teach one another? Are the opportunities real and meaningful? Lots of times, schools think that when kids have time to talk or work in small groups, that’s enough. But, I am talking about deeper ways to be connected and using social media platforms to share with kids all over the world! The support you can get from people in the digital world can help you feel more confident in your everyday world.
I know kids can #ChangetheWorld when they are given the chance. But, first, they should know they can change each other; just like the kids in Conway changed me. They taught me that my work matters; people are listening; and, people are learning from me, too. Their encouragement helped grow my confidence.
Conway Elementary School have lots of super strengths: the power of a community that encourages and believes in one another; the power of kids who know how to see the good in others; and the power an entire staff believing in kid voice.
Thank you Conway Elementary School for being such a beautiful part of my LivBit story and for sharing your super strengths with me! Truth is, I want to be YOU!
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