PIQUA —It pays to be a good student, and at Piqua Central Intermediate School, it pays with donuts.
PCIS students, along with their parents and other family members, received a donut breakfast and motivational speech as part of the school’s first Breakfast of Champions on Monday to honor students for both their academic achievements and their courteous attitudes.
“They’re getting the job done and doing things we’re practicing here,” Principal Joshua Kauffman said. “Super excited for these kids. Super excited that you took some time out of your work schedule to be here. I know that means more to the kids than you’ll ever know.”
The breakfast featured coffee from Winan’s and donated donuts from Kroger and Meijer. The school aimed to commend their “high flyers,” those students who work hard in school and in life.
“We’re trying to teach mannerisms. We’re trying to teach hard work. We’re trying to teach doing things for the community, giving back,” Kauffman said. “We’re super proud of these kids, and I know they’re super hungry for donuts.”
Glen Nickels, 9, attended the Breakfast of Champions with his grandfather, Ralph Hall. Nickels said it felt good to be honored with the donut breakfast.
“He’s a good kid. I couldn’t ask for a better kid,” Hall said. “His sister’s pretty awesome, too.”
Rowan Isaacs, 9, was at the breakfast with his uncle, Chad Stahl. Isaacs also said it felt good to be honored at the breakfast. He said he “just worked hard and tried to do my best” when it came to school.
“I’m proud of him,” Stahl said.
United Way Executive Director Sean Ford was the school’s guest speaker and talked to the students after everyone finished their breakfast, promoting the importance of positivity.
“Let me say congratulations to everyone here,” Ford said.
Ford’s speech became interactive when he asked the students to come up to the front and crowd around him. Ford had the students do two exercises interacting with each other.
“I want you guys to walk around and shake hands … with five people,” he said. “But I want you to act like you don’t know this person, you’re not a fan of this person, you don’t really care about this person, you’re so involved with whatever’s going on in your life, and you’re so down in the dumps … Walk around and shake hands like you’re just in a miserable mood.”
Ford then asked the students to do the same exercise of shaking hands with each other, but with energy and excitement instead of moodiness.
“We’re going to do the same thing now. Walk around, shake hands, but I want you to pretend that these people are your best friends in the entire world,” Ford said. “And you are so happy to see these people, and you haven’t seen this person in forever. If you need to get loud, get loud … Be excited. Be happy.”
During the first exercise, students quiet and mopey, but for the second exercise, their attitudes were explosive as they jumped around giddy, happy, and laughing.
“Which one was better?” Ford asked. The students all responded with the second one.
“That’s how you guys need to approach your lives,” Ford said. “Take everything with the most energy possible.”
Ford said that the kids needed to invest that kind of energy and excitement into interacting with their friends, teachers, parents, coaches, and so on. If they did that, Ford guaranteed that good things would happen to them.
“Approach life with that energy. Energy is everything,” he said. “There are two types of people in this world. There are energy givers, and there are energy takers.”
Ford explained that energy was how they made people feel and that they should aim to make people feel fantastic.
“If it’s a bad day, it’s a bad day, shake it off, move on,” Ford said.
Ford had the students and adults name things that deplete their energy tanks. They named things like negative people, their sports team losing, their siblings, and homework.
“So then we need to do things that fill our energy tank,” Ford said, having the crowd name things that energized them and made them happy. Those things included no homework, sugar, playing outside, positive people, reading, sleep, and their sports team winning.
Ford then talked about the importance of giving off energy and positivity in order to receive it back in life and the importance of not being a “poop thrower.”
“We have another word for those energy takers. We call them poop throwers,” Ford said.
Ford use the metaphor of people standing in front a giant fan blowing air at them. If they emitted positivity, the giant fan would blow the positivity right back at them. The reverse happened with negative people or “poop throwers.”
“There is a big fan blowing back at your face,” Ford said.”If you’re putting positive energy, the fan’s going to throw it right back at you. You’re going to get what you put out there. Also, on the other side, you got people walking around just flinging poop. Those are the negative people. Guess what? That poop’s coming back and hitting them in the face.”
Ford encouraged the students to keep doing what they are doing, striving to maintain good grades and be respectful. If they did that and if they were positive, then good things were around the corner.
“You guys are making great strides in that. You’re making straight A’s. That’s fantastic. You’re not throwing poop there,” Ford said. “I guarantee you, if you do not throw poop and you’re positive, good things are going to happen to you.”
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336