This past July we held our annual Franklin Scholars Award Ceremony to commemorate the Franklin Scholars from the 2014/2015 school year. During the ceremony we had the privilege to hear a speech from Barry Carney, headteacher at The Grange School, on the difference the Franklin Scholars programme makes on the students' academics, empathy, and the school's overall community. The speech features the story of The Quilt Makers Gift, a tale about a giving quilt maker who helps transform a greedy king into someone who finds happiness in sharing his wealth. Mr. Carney explained:
“It celebrates the value of generosity, and the spirit of community; this is a story of the victory of selflessness over greed and the power of generosity in transforming people's hearts.”
Mr. Carney saw the pleasure the Year 10s were deriving from mentoring the Year 7s, and how both groups were gaining a sense of confidence and accomplishment in the process. He mentioned one Year 7 in particular, Ellie, who recognised the improvements she made in her reading through activities with her Franklin Scholar explaining that she has become more confident in her work. Mr. Carney also talked about how Franklin Scholars is not only about academics, it’s about building community;
“…they are making a huge contribution to the culture of the school; demonstrating daily how they support others, work together to help one another and show respect by caring for others.”
Like the king in the The Quilt Makers Gift Franklin Scholars are learning about the power of giving, being selfless and how that can give them a huge sense of accomplishment and happiness. This story embodies one of our all time favourite quotes, “When you are good to others, you are best to yourself,” Benjamin Franklin. In his conclusion, Mr. Carney used a quote by Dr Martin Luther King Jr:
“You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know about Einstein’s theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
If you would like to hear more from Barry Carney, check out the video above or the link to the full speech below.