The "Do The Right Thing" ceremony for October was held Wednesday, Oct. 16, in City Council Chambers. The guest speaker was former Cape Coral Councilwoman Dolores Bertolini.
Five Cape Coral students were recognized.
Patriot Elementary - 5th Grade
Van is a 5th grade student at Patriot Elementary. From the first day of class his teacher, Ms. Ryan could tell that Van was not only an exceptional student, but also a natural leader. In the classroom he is eager to support his peers and his teacher. When he earns a special privilege due to his exceptional behavior, he chooses to help out his teacher from last year and any students of hers that may be struggling academically or socially.
Ms. Ryan knew by these actions from the beginning of the school year that Van is a role model in his school, but she didn't know how much he supports his community until she spoke with his parents.
His parents told her that Van has always been an extremely caring child and that they are very proud of him. They have numerous neighbors who have autistic children and Van plays a positive role in their lives. He specifically sets aside time to be with these kids and they adore him. He helps them with homework, watches them while their parents work, cooks for them and gives up his own free time to be involved with these kids. The parents love to take Van with them when they go places because he is such a help to them with their children. He has more patience and understanding when it comes to these children than you would ever expect from a boy his age. One child cries every time he has to leave Van's home and Van always knows exactly what to say or do to calm him down. When Van's friends, who do not have autism, get frustrated at his friends, who do have it, he politely explains what the child is thinking or feeling and would make arrangements to play separately as he does not want these kids to be treated with anything but love and respect.
He is always looking for any way at church to reach out to the community and is always willing to devote his time to helping others.He takes his wagon around the neighborhood to collect cans for food drives and has compassion to make a difference in this world.
We all are truly blessed to be a part of this young man's journey as he continues to give of himself, to his community, and to recognize him for such outstanding efforts.
Patriot Elementary 5th Grade
One day, Mia saw Ms. Beman, a teacher, in need of assistance with a "special needs kindergarden student" who chose to lay down in the middle of the school hallway on the floor. Mia saw the teacher trying to convince the child to get up but the child would not budge. Although the "special needs child" was much bigger than Mia, Mia still offered to help the teacher. Most students would have been put off or even starteled at the situation, but not Mia. She asked the teacher if she could try to convience the child to listen to her.
You see, Mia would like to become a pediatrician one day and as she told Ms. Beman she needed to learn how to work with all children, both abled and disabled.
Mia got very close to the child and said in a very gentle, kind voice, "Do you want to come play with me? I would like to play with you. You want to play with me?"
The special needs child, looked into her eyes, smiled, jumped up, took Mia's hand and pointed down the hall saying, "Go." So, down the hall the two went, Mia encouraging her and the special needs child laughing and smiling. Mia then ask the teacher if she needed further assistance in changing the child. Ms. Beman, stood in amazement, declining her offer, as she looked at one of our future generation that truly has a grasp on doing the right thing whether it was uncomfortable, difficult or maybe unpopular.
Here is a wonderful girl who cared enough to stop and get involved. Others may walk by and give funny looks or giggle or even turn their heads away but not Mia. She offered to help in the future any time we needed her. She showed great concern for the special needs child and the teacher.
Finding her teacher in a dilemma, she acted and thought quickly to help them out, not concerned what her peers may say. When they were walking down the hall she said, "I would really like to help out whenever I can, these children need so much help and I need to learn how to help these wonderful little children."
Mia definitely serves as a model for her peers in doing the right thing. Actions like these are normal everyday occurrences for Mia. But from her school and the community, this fifth grader deserves to know that we appreciate her for doing the right thing! Wouldn't we love to live in a world of "Mia's?"
Challenger Middle - 8th Grade
Lexie was born with muscular dystrophy; she is orthopedically impaired and is wheelchair dependent. Her strength and endurance is affected. She must have assistance with life functions. She does not let this limit her. She strives to be her best despite her physical limitations. She does not make excuses. She remains positive and strong spirited. She inspires others not to complain.
Lexie has a GPA of 4.0 and has scored well above grade level on the yearly FCAT.
Attitude is everything. She wanted to play the drums, so an adaptation was made to her chair. She now performs in the drum line. She is conscientious and gives everything her full effort and encourages others to do the same.
Gulf Elementary 5th Grade
Maya was Ms. Pisano's third grade student 2 years ago and is a model citizen. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in May and Maya spent a good time this summer helping her mom and dad in any way possible. Maya has been an exemplary daughter by helping with meals, taking care of the house and being compassionate.
One day, Ms. Pisano took Maya out to lunch before school started and her mom told her all the wonderful things Maya was doing to help her. During the rest of lunch and later that evening, Ms. Pisano continued to see Maya blossom into a model citizen. While they were dining, Maya jumped up, picked up a $10 bill that she hadn't noticed and asked the elderly gentleman seated next to them if he had accidently dropped the $10. He thanked her for returning the money and Maya was so happy to have helped. Afterwards while shopping at an arts and crafts store, she purchased a gift for her mother with her own money, even though her teacher had offered to pay for it.
She made Ms. Pisano smile the whole afternoon and many days later.
I believe May had done the right thing many, many times and I would like her to be recognized by the vity of Cape Coral.
Calossa Middle School - 7th Grade
On Sept. 6, during lunch at Caloosa Middle School, there was an altercation between two young men in the lunch room. Recognizing the danger, Deonnie stepped up between the two men and separated them before any harm could be done. I feel that if Deonnie did not step in when he did, the altercation would have escalated into a life changing event for both participants.