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September 16th, 2008
The "Quest" of Chivalry, Nobility, Honor, & Service: A Return to Knighthood at Crockett Elementary School

During the historic era of chivalry, noble character traits defined the times. Codes of honor ruled the day, and heroic exploits were the norm. The students and staff of Crockett Elementary School are partnering with Rotary in a program called EarlyAct FirstKnightTM to bring back the strengths and values of knighthood.

EarlyAct FirstKnight is a character and ethics education program for K-8 grade schoolchildren that encompasses the historic theme of noble knighthood with the values prescribed to by Rotarians. The curriculum based education program is sponsored by the San Marcos Rotary club and chartered by Rotary Districts. On Wednesday, September 24, the Crockett Elementary School will be chartered by the San Marcos Rotary Club as an Early Act service club participant. The ceremony will be conducted by the district governor and will be attended by Rotarians and parents of Crockett’s Early Act Club members (4th grade students). The ceremony will be 10-11 am, in the Crockett Music Room.

The grand-scale celebration will take place on Friday, September 19, from 9-10 am, in the “field of combat” located directly south of and adjoining the SMCISD Vocational Building on Highway 123, near the site of the former high school that is being renovated for Goodnight Junior High. Bus loads of Crockett students will arrive at the field for an impressive display of a “Tournament of Champions” that includes horses, knights in period costumes, authentic armor, jousting, and general medieval “merry-making.”

According to Crockett Principal Rick LaBuhn, Rotary works with an organization called Knights of the Guild® that is a national award-winning educational services agency whose purpose is to develop young people into ethical, morally-responsible, community-oriented, self-disciplined adults. Founded in 1993, the program sites the parallels of the term “knight” which means “servant” and highlights the historic exploits of both male and female knightly heroes.

LaBuhn says that kindergarten and 1st grade students are eligible to become “pages.” Second and 3rd graders can earn the title of “squire.” Fourth and 5th grade students can achieve “knighthood.” Curriculum is age-appropriate for children’s most formative years. The 10-minute lessons are part of the daily instruction by way of a month virtue, definitions, case studies, profiles of historic individuals, quotations, challenge puzzles, discussion questions, learning logs, and more.

“Grades K thru 5 focus on virtues such as tolerance, responsibility, confidence, perseverance, discipline, respect, honesty, compassion, friendliness, and service, ” says LaBuhn. “Students of grades 6-8 deal with more complex issues such as prowess, justice, loyalty, defense, courage, faith, humility, nobility, and franchise.”

Sponsoring Rotarian advisors lead bimonthly 30-minute service clubs on campus that provide mentoring and practical community avenues of application designed to show children how to use their character virtues in a real-world environment.

Guiding tenants of the Crockett “Knight of the Guild” program will highlight:

o Service above self
o Fairness to all
o Truthfulness
o Building goodwill and better friendships and
o Seeking mutual benefit in our relationships.

For more information about Rotary’s EarlyAct First KnightTM program, visit www.eafk.org.

By IRIS CAMPBELL
Public Information Officer – San Marcos CISD

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