The Gift of 'Wonder'
Book of the Month
July 11, 2014
In the last week of school I had the opportunity to sit down for coffee with Mrs. Danis, the principal of Rundle College Primary School. The topic of our conversation was wide ranging; from a review of the school year that had just past, to our summer plans, to family updates, to great movies and books we had recently seen and read. As always, I took an opportunity to share about the wonderful year Rundle Academy had just had. A key component of this sharing involved the success of our school's focuses. Rundle Academy had keyed in on the core values of 'Grit' and 'Responsibility.' Students, staff and parents all seemed to embrace the idea of 'true grit' and I think it helped us all reach our potential.
As our conversation continued, we eventually started talking about the 2014-2015 school year at Rundle College Society. In time, we mused about what Rundle College, as a whole, might focus on next year. It was obvious that we would continue to emphasize a 'safe and caring environment' and we would continue to help students discover their potential, challenge them to do their best and celebrate with them when they do. Beyond the mission of Rundle College Society, we discussed values such as 'courage,' 'friendship,' 'character,' and 'creativity.' After a short while, I asked what she thought about simply asking our students to consider 'kindness' as a key core value for the upcoming school year. It was at this point that Mrs. Danis asked if I had ever read the book 'Wonder' by R.J. Palacio.
I had to admit I had not heard of the book but would see if I could find it this summer and give it a read. Needless to say, I picked up the book 3 days ago and have now completed reading it. I am so very happy that Mrs. Danis suggested this read. Even though it would be classified as a young adult book, it is filled with universal truths that every person can learn from. R.J. Palacio does a spectacular job of telling the story of the main character, August, through multiple perspectives that demonstrate an uncompromising empathy for all things that are true and good. Beyond this, I am going to refrain from saying too much more because I believe everybody should give this book a read.
I'll just leave you with this teaser.... if you want a preview of the Headmaster's 2014 Key Precept.... make sure you get to the last chapter.
All the best to you and yours during the summer of 2014.
Jason B. Rogers