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Ben Franklin's Undercover Mission

Ben Franklin’s Undercover Mission

Franklin Elementary “Paws Up” rally teaches healthy thoughts, actions


At first glance, the Franklin Elementary “Paws Up” assembly on August 26 looked like any other school rally.


Children sat “criss cross applesauce” on the cafeteria floor while Principal Angie Betts explained school rules for all Ben Franklin lions.


 paws up  

“Paws up!” is unique to Ben Franklin. With a lion mascot, the students learn how to be quiet when the “Paws up!” signal is given to them.



Music teacher Abi Parker led the group in the National Anthem.


Then Counselor Alison Crittenden came out on stage holding a flaming torch made of red, orange and yellow tissue paper. “It’s as if the Olympians have passed the torch to us,” she said, holding it high.


She reminded the children that, if they had watched any of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, they had seen athletes who had chosen to be good citizens. “If we had an Olympics, we would be representing Franklin Elementary USA,” she said.


paws up  

Ben Franklin students listen attentively  at the first school assembly of the year.


Her comments to the students from that point on gave the children helpful life instruction and practical ideas to succeed at school this year.


·      Give a greeting: “When you’re greeted, it’s kind to greet in return. It’s an exchange of kindness. Human beings are worth it.”


·      Display an attitude of gratitude: “There are two things to look for in life: the good and the bad. We have the power to choose how we’re going to look at the world.  If we look for things to be glad about, we’ll have an attitude of gratitude.”


·      Act responsibly: “Our founder, Ben Franklin, has a very long list of things he did to make this country a better place. You, too, want to act responsibly. You are the only person in complete control of you.”


·      Make wise choices: “Wise choices are a powerful tool in your heart.”


·      Friendship Rule #1: “You can’t say, ‘You can’t play.’ At Ben Franklin, we’re about having kind hearts.”


·      Friendship Rule #2: “Friends share friends. Friends don’t own friends.”


·      How to Handle Life’s Situations: “When you mess up, learn to say, ‘I am safe. I am calm. I can handle this. I’m going to be OK.’”


·      How to view yourself: “I’m good but I can be better.”


·      How do I handle peer pressure: “I like you, but I’m me!”


·      How to handle stress: “I tell myself that bad feelings aren’t permanent.”


Ms. Crittenden soothed students with the reminder that, five days into the new school year, they had already done the hardest part. They had met their teacher and classmates and transitioned from summer to school.


“I have seen kindness everywhere,” she told the group. “We’re taking notice of it.”


Students will be eligible for rewards, prizes, celebrations and special drawings throughout the year as they practice kindness to others, she said.