By Ashley Winterstein
Every character coach that enters the classroom brings with them their own experiences and ideas that they want to share with the students. Kaarin Salisbury is no exception. When she entered the classroom for the first time as a character coach in October of 2011, she was determined to be a positive influence on the lives of the children in her classes.
During the character lessons, she was quick to share her own life experiences as a police officer, with a husband who has been on active duty in the military since they were married 24 years ago. Although her self-described “real” job now is to process evidence for the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office and develop training curriculum for law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, one of her passions is volunteering for the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Every weekend, somewhere in the United States, a Yellow Ribbon Event is held for people in the military in any stage of deployment AND their families. At these events, there are classes, speakers, and discussion groups about topics such as resumes, finances, relationships, stress, and fitness. Salisbury volunteers regularly by leading a breakout session for family members who need to know there is support and others out there experiencing the same difficulties as them.
It didn’t take long for Salisbury to realize there was a way to merge her two most important volunteering efforts. She explained the Yellow Ribbon Events to her students and they were more than eager to find a way to help. After much brainstorming, her three 6th grade classes decided to create a video greeting card to be shown to the military members and their families at Yellow Ribbon Events.
Under the supervision of Coach Salisbury and their teachers, Darryl Calloway and Sharon Murdoch, the students worked together to write, direct, and produce a video greeting card entitled, “Loved Ones Serve As Well.” The video contains skits about daily life when a family member is deployed, candid interviews with the students expressing their support, and heartfelt messages to the soldiers and their families.
Jeff Straight, Public Information Officer for the Queen Anne’s County Board of Education, recorded and edited hours of footage into an 18 minute video that was first debuted to the involved students and their teachers on December 21, 2012. The video was also shown to the entire student body at Sudlersville Middle School later that day via closed circuit televisions in the classrooms. It will be edited a bit more to fit into time constraints prior to being shown at Yellow Ribbon Events.
Please visit www.peopleofcharacter.org for a link to this amazing video and more pictures of the students working on their project!
If you have any questions about Character Counts! in Queen Anne’s County or are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Jacki Carter at 410-758-6677 or email@example.com. Character Counts! is a part of the Queen Anne’s County Community Partnerships for Children and Families, our local management board.