Although they just finished fifth grade, Emily Heath and Elias Mendoza overcame significant challenges on their way to middle school. The pair, both promoted to sixth grade last week at Rising Sun Elementary, endured more than most during their early years.
Other people that made my year great were friends. I do not think I could have gotten through the year without them. My friends were always there for me and always made me laugh. Laughter is the best medicine.
The teachers also made my year great by having Friday night dance parties, to teaching me what I need to know so I could be here today and move onto middle school. The teachers had morning and afternoon messages that encouraged us by telling us to have a great day. They also made my year great by giving each student a positive learning environment.
The last people that made my year great, are my family. My family supported me through my years in elementary school. My family encouraged good grades and gave me the courage to get stuff done and turned in. My year was great and I'm really going to miss elementary school. Thank you!
At the age of seven, in 2013, Elias Mendoza traveled to the United States from El Salvador by himself. "It took a lot of hours to get to America," said Mendoza. He has settled in nicely and speaks perfect English. Mendoza shared his experiences during the school's fifth grade promotion ceremony last week. He said his fondest memory of Rising Sun Elementary is "friendship."
Speech written by Mendoza:
Coming from El Salvador to America was a scary experience for me. I was seven years old when I arrived, coming by myself. I have learned so many meaningful things along the way. Being here and learning is special to me. Learning is very special and it makes people get along and work together in our beautiful world. Most important is that people learn from others by cooperation and listening. Cooperating with others can help you learn more, for example, in fifth grade we made volcanoes and learned how to cooperate in a group and how to listen to others in order to mix ingredients to make sure the volcano would explode.
I've learned that people are willing to help you and provide the experiences to learn and not to be afraid. Teachers, specialists, Mr. Mazurick, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, Mrs. Isaac, family, and friends can help you learn.
All of these people helped me to learn English as I only knew a little when I came to Rising Sun Elementary. Equally important is that you can learn and have fun at the same time. You can have fun while working with others and still learn meaningful things. On Field Day we had fun, but also learned how to make a plan together and show good sportsmanship. It's so important to get along with people and work together. Remember to always listen to people and show empathy because it makes them feel better about themselves. Thank you.