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
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
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!
The Story of 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)
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 ...............
are asked to donate "One Dollar" each (only once)
A Fleece Jacket- (with the USA & Lithuanian Flags on them)
***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.
this is my project I have pledged "two weeks of my allowance"
««< 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.
Place a "One Dollar Bill" in an envelope
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,
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!)
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:
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.
Mr. Tomas and
As DJ's mom puts
it: "Our world needs more amazing kids.....kids who have an idea,
a dream or a
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! email@example.com.
Who knows? You may be the next Amazing Kid!
In His Own Words: An Interview with Amazing DJ
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!
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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