It was awesome to recently hold our first ever Jellybean Festival at our school. The Jellybean Festival brings together students of differing abilities to work with each other and perform for an audience. Think of it as Special Olympics meets the performing arts or even America’s Got Talent.
It was great to see the celebration of ALL our students and the opportunity for our students with special needs to really shine in front of their peers. One student even commented after the event, “I feel like a star!”
Our school has an organization called Character Council that promotes acceptance, positive decisions, kindness, etc. They organized our event and served as coaches for the participants, helping them develop acts and performing alongside them.
We were thrilled to have Howard Martin, the founder of the Jellybean Conspiracy, in attendance at our program. He shared his story and some thoughts on kindness and acceptance.
His comments were profound…
At the Jellybean Festival we celebrate two things. First, every life matters. Every life, every single life matters.The second thing is this—it is kindness that makes us most human and most divine.
I’m going to tell you something now I don’t think you’re going to believe. But I challenge you to put aside your doubts. The most important indicator of success in life is kindness. The most important thing you can learn in high school is to be kind.
You want a definition for kindness? Kindness is becoming important in the life of another human being, especially the one is most likely to be left out.
You want another definition of kindness? See what happens today at the Jellybean Festival.
In my recent post, I presented 5 questions every person is trying to answer:
1. Am I important to someone here?
2. Do I belong here?
3. Am I good at something here?
4. Who will listen to me here?
5. Is my presence here making a difference?
We all have a responsibility to BE the answer to these questions for someone. We all must help others know they are valued and that they matter. It is so important to do this.
The Jellybean Festival was a way we could do that as an entire school. It was a way to show how we should value each other. We were able to celebrate differences and just have fun together.
I think the Jellybean Creed really says it best.
I’ve included the video highlights from our festival. You can get an idea of what our event was like in case your school wants to do something like this too. If you want to bring a Jellybean Festival to your school, I am happy to share more about how to do that.
- 5 Questions Every Kid Is Trying to Answer
- Difficulties Make Us Bitter or They Make Us Better
- 11 Must-Have Qualities of Authentic Leadership