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Amazing Kids! of the Month

Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!

Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things.  We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements. 


Amazing Kids! of the Month for February, 2003: 
The USA-Lithuania Friendship Project, USA and Lithuania
 
DJ Sconyers, age 12, founder,
the USA-Lithuania Friendship Project



Quotes of the Month: 

"People from all over the United States were willing to help kids they didn’t even know. This made me realize that people really do care about helping other people."

"If you have an idea about something you would like to do, share your idea with a teacher or a parent. All you have to do is work hard, don’t ever give up, and you can make anything happen. Take the time to want to make a difference, you might be surprised at what you can do!"

DJ Sconyers, age 12
founder of the USA-Lithuania Friendship Project


This month, Amazing Kids! is pleased to highlight the amazing work of one friendly and enterprising young man from Florida as our February 2003 Amazing Kid! of the Month.

Read DJ's story below to find out how he started a project to help bring friendship and  understanding among kids who live in two countries far from each other.  Who knows?  Maybe DJ's project will inspire you to start your own "Friendship Project!"

And don't forget, if you, or a young person you know, has an amazing project you are involved in, or a special skill, talent or ability you want to tell the world about, be sure to let Amazing Kids! know about it!  Teachers are invited to nominate their entire classroom and the amazing projects they are working on too!  Simply complete a nomination form for an Amazing Kid! of the Month award, or email us! 


Table of Contents 

The Story of the USA-Lithuania Friendship Project
In His Own Words:  An Interview with Amazing D.J.
Related Links



The Story of the USA-Lithuania Friendship Project
 
Lithuanian students participating in
the USA-Lithuania Friendship Project

DJ Sconyers is a bright, hard-working and friendly 12 year old from West Palm Beach, Florida.  As a homeschooled student, DJ's teacher (his mom) gave him a very special assignment for his World History class: designing and implementing a project to show that "Kids Can Make a Difference."

The "USA-Lithuania Friendship Project" was the result. DJ asked sponsors to help him send a "Friendship Package" to students at a rural school in Lithuania, to help them learn more about the United States and to start a new long-distance friendship with them. The package included:

1) A Fleece Jacket (with the USA & Lithuanian Flags on them)
2) A book for each student (classics read by kids in the US)
3) A "journal" for each student, to help them practice writing in English
4) A Friendship Bear with a USA pin
 

Some of the items in DJ's Friendship Package,
sent to students in Lithuania

From the beginning when he first started his assignment, DJ's project has been a huge success!  DJ began by spending many hours writing emails and letters and phoning everyone he knew, spreading the word about his project across the United States. 

According to DJ's mom, "The response was heart warming! He received over 180 sponsors from 39 states in just a few short weeks. He is still receiving letters congratulating him on his efforts at extending the hand of friendship to children in another country."

Here's a copy of one of DJ's emails he sent to potential sponsors:



Dear Friends and Family,

At the beginning of the school year I applied to "Epals Classroom Exchange" in hopes of being matched up with a child from another country. It is part of the "Friendship through Education Consortium launched by President Bush."

To my surprise, I was contacted by a teacher of a small class (11 children) in a very rural part of Lithuania. The children there do not have access to a computer so we correspond through their teacher, Mr. Tomes, their English teacher.  We email letters and interesting info about our countries.  These children are "so" excited to learn everything they can about the US. They are studying to read and write English. We have sent some info, (maps, newspapers, pictures and brochures) so they can learn more about our country. They in turn are trying to do the same for me.

                        *************So Now On to My Project****************

As most of you know, I am HomeSchooled, my Mom has given me an assignment to design and implement a project showing "Kids can make a Difference" for my World History class. I wanted to do something for my Epals in Lithuanian. After giving it much thought,  this is what I decided to do.

                                                       A "Friendship Package" **

I am looking for Sponsors from all across the USA ...............

**Sponsors are asked to donate "One Dollar" each  (only once)
**My goal is to send each of the eleven students:

1) A Fleece Jacket- (with the USA & Lithuanian Flags on them)
2) A book for each student...(classics read by kids in the US)
3) A " Journal" for each student, so they can practice writing in English.
4) A Friendship Bear with a USA  pin

***Note: If the project gets a good response, any money left will go to sending some educational materials, about the USA, for the classroom.

EVERYONE who is a sponsor will have their Name City and State imprinted on the card that will go in the package.

A  US map will be enclosed in the box with a "STAR" on every state sponsors come from. This way the students can see on the map where all the sponsors came from.

##Since this is my project I have pledged "two weeks of my allowance"
##Two local bookstores have pledged to give us a 20% discount on anything that is purchased for the friendship package.

                                             ««< NOW I NEED YOUR HELP»»

If you would like to be a part of this project...it is very easy...just follow the directions below.

1) Place a "One Dollar Bill" in an envelope
2) Wrap the dollar in a piece of paper with. .. your "name" and "address" written clearly
3) Mail the envelope *****ASAP**** to the following address:

The Sconyers Homeschool
USA/Lithuania Friendship Project
896 Lake Wellington Drive
West Palm Beach, FL 33414-7972
 

NOTE: If there are more than one sponsors from a household, you can combine them all in one envelope...Just make sure each name is listed separately on the piece of paper.

***Please forward this to anyone who you think would like to participate!

THANK YOU -------THANK YOU------- THANK YOU------- THANK YOU---

As a way of my saying "thank you" for helping to make this project a HUGE SUCCESS everyone who makes a contribution will receive a Bookmarker designed by me (I will mail to each sponsor).

*******Let's all pull together...spread the word about this project and you will all have made some new "FRIENDS" from Lithuania!

Thank You for your time and effort,

DJ Sconyers

***History Lesson*****

Lithuania is a relatively "New" country. They became an independent and free country just 12 years ago. They are very proud of the fact that the U.S. was one of the first countries to acknowledge their independence. (I am proud of my country too!)
 

The "Thank You" card and bookmark sent
to all DJ's project's sponsors...

It says:

"Thank you for your generous sponsorship for my USA-Lithuanian Friendship Project.  Together, we have been successful in making a difference."

D.J. Sconyers


But DJ's project didn't stop there!  DJ is determined to do more for this small school of only 100 students in rural Lithuania. He is now in the process of writing letters to companies and organizations that may be able to assist him in finding ways to obtain computers and audiovisual equipment for the school.  The school currently only has one computer, and no audiovisual materials.

Sponsors of the Friendship project are also taking an active role. They were so intrigued by the project, they wanted to help more. Many sponsors are sending postcards and gathering information about their state, so the children in Lithuania can learn more about America.

Here is the "Thank you" email DJ received from Tomas, the teacher of the students in Lithuania whom DJ has been corresponding with:



Dear DJ,

The whole work accomplished by you is so very thoroughly done and it is hard to believe that a single boy could manage to perform such vast wonders. Thank you DJ from me and my students who have been granted with so many unforgettable presents from you and your country. It is all too generous. Everything you enclosed into the Friendship package is so impressive and unforgettable.

I am incapable of getting enumerated the precise number of those precious presents we have been rewarded with. Flag, map, photos of your country, various printed material about USA, money samples  will all serve as perfect educational material about your country. I promise to take a photo of our class with these beautiful clothes on as soon as possible. Their warmth will certainly be of much benefit.

I commit to prepare a small package from us with handwritten letters of all your penpals DJ. We have never been so immensely touched by anyone. May all the people who helped you carry out this noble project be blessed. I want to ensure you repeatedly that your noble gifts will be used with great expedience.

My students and I have never received such a wondrous act of kindness. Your Kindness, and those of the sponsors from the USA, is inexhaustible!

Your friends from Lithuania.

Sincerely,

Mr. Tomas and Students


As DJ's mom puts it:  "Our world needs more amazing kids.....kids who have an idea, a dream or a
goal......Kids who want to make a difference!"

Editor's Note:  Amazing Kids! believes all kids have the potential to be amazing in their own way.  Have you discovered your own "amazing-ness" yet?  If so, email us and tell us about it!  nomination@amazing-kids.org

Who knows?  You may be the next Amazing Kid!

A symbol of the many dollar bills 
DJ received from sponsors for his project

Back to Table of Contents



In His Own Words:  An Interview with Amazing DJ

Question:
     What are some things you have learned from your new friends in Lithuania?

Answer:
“I have learned to appreciate the things we take for granted everyday, like computers and owning a car. Many people in Lithuania can’t afford cars, and very few have computers.  If they are lucky and can afford one, they must buy them second hand. People in Lithuania are very friendly, and enjoy learning everything they can about the USA. They really like making new friends.”

Question: 
How would you say your friendship project has changed the way you see the world?

Answer:
“Everyday I opened the mailbox, I just couldn’t believe that so many people were pulling together to make my  project a success. I kept saying to my Mom, “It’s working, my project is really working!”  People from all over the United States were willing to help kids they didn’t even know. This made me realize that people really do care about helping other people.”

Question:
What were your thoughts when you found out that you had been chosen for Amazing Kid! of the Month by Amazing Kids!?

Answer:
“At first I was so excited, I didn’t know what to think. I had never thought of myself as an Amazing Kid, I just knew I wanted to do something for my new friends in Lithuania, and I never thought about getting any kind of award for my project. It is cool to know other kids will be able to read my story, and maybe it will help them to find ways to do something to help others.”

Question:
If you could give advice to other kids your age about how they can do something amazing, what would you tell them?

Answer:
“I would say to them, if you have an idea about something you would like to do, share your idea with a teacher or a parent. All you have to do is work hard, don’t ever give up, and you can make anything happen. Take the time to want to make a difference, you might be surprised at what you can do!” 


Want to help DJ with his USA-Lithuania Friendship Project?  Send him an email at: Lithuaniafriends@aol.com

Amazing Kids! wishes you continued success, DJ! 

Back to Table of Contents


RELATED LINKS:

Lithuania State Department of Tourism: www.tourism.lt

Epals Classroom Exchange: www.epals.com

Countryresports.org - Facts about Lithuania: www.countryreports.org/lithuania.htm

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A Special Message from Amazing Kids! for all you kids:

It's no secret...every person has an "amazing-ness" inside of them, just waiting to be discovered.  (Sometimes we just need a little help in finding out what that "amazing-ness" is!) 

If you are doing some amazing things too, we want to hear about it!  Send us your stories about your amazing accomplishments, so we can tell the world just how amazing you are!  We are always looking for new stories.  And don't be shy!  We'd love to hear from you!



Here's an idea you might want to try:

WHY NOT HELP OTHERS SEE THEIR OWN POTENTIAL?

If you know someone who needs a little encouragement, why not tell them what you think is special about them?  Maybe you can be the one to help them uncover their own special talents! 

Amazing Kids! is looking for teens to be Amazing Teen Volunteers and Ambassadors . If you'd like to join Amazing Kids! in helping to spread the word, please email us at: info@amazing-kids.org

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD:

  It's cool to be an Amazing Kid!

 

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