Friday, August 11, 2017

Scholastic Spotlight: Hannah Slater

Not Worthless
Slater, Hannah
Grade: 11
School: Fargo North High School, Fargo ND 

Educator: Lori Koenig
AWARD: Silver Key

As the little girl with the pink ribbon sits alone on the swing staring at her lunch box, the principal watches as she slowly eats her lunch all by herself. He decides to go out and talk to her. Grabbing some paper clips from the top of his desk he walks to the little girl.

“You know, you don’t always have to eat alone.”

“No one wants to sit with me,” she doesn’t look up from her food.

The old principal sits next to her on the other swing. He pulls out a paper clip and holds it up for her to see.

“This paper clip looks boring, doesn’t it?” he asks. The girl nods. “But like your ribbon, it has many uses. You aren’t boring, people just don’t see what you can do, yet.”

Her big, round eyes look upon his kind-filled face, smiling down on her. He hands this little girl a paper clip. She smiles back. Squeezing her little hand over the paperclip.

“Don’t let anyone say you are boring and if they do, tell them that you can do many things if you put your mind to it.” He gets up from the swing and continues to watch as the little girl grows...

One day as the old principal walks through the school and comes back to his office. A note tied with a pink ribbon is on his desk.

Dear Principal Script,
I heard you were retiring this year after so many years of teaching and being a principal. I would just like to thank you for all you have done for me. It may not have seemed like much, but I have taught my kids what you taught me all those years ago. Your words had touched my young heart in so many ways and I have never forgotten what you said. Please accept this memento from me.

As Principal Script looks near where she signed, he sees the paper clip that he gave her all those years ago. The little girl with the pink ribbon turned into a young woman, a mother. He looks up from the letter to Natalie who is standing in the doorway with two kids at her side. They wave at him and Natalie lets go of her children and hugs Script.

“Thank you for teaching me that I’m worth more than I would have believed,” she whispers letting go of their embrace.

“I never stopped being a principal after all these years, so I could help kids that were once like you,” he smiles at her. The warmth of that smile remains the same even with all the wrinkles. His graying black hair is no longer that, instead it is pure white.

Natalie’s pink ribbon had switched to a pink headband and her two little kids watch in wonder as their mother talks to this old man that they have heard so much about.

Natalie leaves a smile on Script’s face as she takes her children and departs from the school. One thing she would always teach her children is that they are not worthless. No one is worthless since a paper clip is not worthless.