Page 9 We also know that even the less motivated students will, at some time, make an effort to do well at something, and the teacher will be watching. That’s when they will receive their certificate, a very special and long-lasting reward, for that small effort and, with a little luck, an encouragement for them to make that small effort more often. Initially, the plan was that we would focus this program on supporting and encouraging Kindergarten and Grade 1 students who came to school less than fully prepared, and hence wouldn’t get many pats on the back to help build self-confidence and self-esteem. Now, however, we’ll get a chance to see how Miss. Phoenix’s Grade 3-4 class reacts at Bayview. Recently our first “Best Me I Can Be” certificates were presented to four Grade 1 students in Kelly Inglis’ class at Georgia Avenue Elementary. There was a lot of excitement in the room, and I suspect Inglis and I may have been the most excited of all! That evening I got the following email from Inglis: “I was going to write to tell you how much my heart was filled today. The second student you presented with a certificate was new to our school this year after not having had a very successful Kindergarten experience. I am so proud of him. I am also so proud of the kids in my class; despite the many challenges we have, they have been so amazing with him and include him in everything without a second thought. What we saw today is the true beauty of inclusion. And did you see how proud he was! Thank-you so much for allowing our class to be a part of this pilot project. I can’t wait for the next group. Have a wonderful night.” The next day she sent me the attached photo. I respondedtoconfirmthattheboy’snameisMason Nesbitt. I remembered what she had written on his certificate. ”Be proud of your learning; you try hard every day! Just keep saying, “I think I can.” Here is Inglis’ response to my email: “Yes. It is Mason. He got 5/6 on his spelling today. This is the first time he has even participated in the ‘test’ because he always said he couldn’t do it! Things are bright! Have a great weekend.” A week later, Mason read an entire book to Inglis. She didn’t know he could read because he had never tried before! It seems the certificate is making a difference. I am one excited trustee! I can’t wait to get started with the other classes.  “I am one excited trustee!”