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Simple invitation can make the difference

By MARTIN LINDER • Oct 18, 2019 at 10:00 PM

At the beginning of the school year one of my favorite things to do is visit classrooms on the first day of school. This school year was no different.

On the first day of 4-year -old preschool, I walked into a classroom. 
I observed the typical things, parents proudly saying a tearful goodbye to their child and teachers gently guiding children to meet their new friends. There was a buzz of positivity full of possibilities.

As I continued to help, I noticed one student in particular staying to himself. He was unsure about his new environment. I invited that child to the carpet. He started to talk to me, a little sheepishly at first, then we began to play, count multi-colored bears, read a story and be introduced to new friends. By the time I had to go, I had made a new friend that was excited to be at school and he had made some fast new friends his age.

We have all been that child. Starting something new, having butterflies, feeling nervous and apprehensive. But a simple invitation can make the difference. This is what Christ calls us all to do: invite, welcome and support each other.

As the weather has finally turned to fall, our first quarter of school has come to a close. Today our staff is engaged in professional development designed to enrich our teaching and to continue to grow our school.

I am very proud of our school community. At the beginning of the year we introduced the students to the Faithful Flyer program based on three fruits of the Spirit: Joy, kindness and self-control. The Faithful Flyer program teaches all of us about what is expected throughout our school community. This program invites, welcomes and supports each person to embody the characteristics of Christ.

The Norwalk Catholic School mission statement begins with “develop disciples of Christ.” The task of developing disciples is at the heart of what we do. Just like the preschooler, we all need someone to notice, to invite, to welcome, to support. Until next time — go Flyers.

Local columnist Martin Linder
 is the Norwalk Catholic and St. Paul High schools president and principal.

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