The message was simple, yet profound.
Everyone can make a difference.
Whether it is in the lives of fellow students, parents, teachers or the lunch crew, everyone has the power to make the day better for those around them.
Motivational speaker and coach Kevin Bracy brought that message to an enthusiastic audience at Collegeville Elementary School on Friday morning, Jan. 26, following that up with a later appearance at Farmington Elementary.
Dawn Webster, who serves as principal at both rural elementary sites, said she had seen Bracy previously at a districtwide training session for Escalon Unified School District personnel and wanted him to bring that positive attitude and message to the elementary school students as well.
Known as ‘Coach Greatness,” Bracy – a graduate of American River College who went on to play baseball on a scholarship at the University of Utah – always carries the same message but offers it in terms that best fits his target audience. For the elementary students, that meant covering topics such as being kind and showing respect.
He welcomed the students and got them started on a rhythmic chant, “2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate? Teachers, teacher, teachers.”
From there, the office team was recognized, then the lunch team.
“Bring your greatness,” Bracy encouraged the youngsters, holding their attention throughout the performance. “Bring your greatness in the door.”
He offered them a talk on B.R.A.C.E., with each letter signifying a specific act or attitude they can use to build on.
‘B,’ he said, is ‘Be kind’ and that starts with being kind to themselves.
“Say it 15 times a day,” he suggested, “I’m awesome, I’m brilliant, I’m caring, I matter.”
Students repeated the sayings back to the coach, then all said them together, encouraging each other as well.
“Every student here has a caring heart because each has at least one person they care about and one who cares for them,” he told the audience.
The ‘R’ stands for ‘Reach for your dreams.’
“The more you learn, the more you reach for your dreams,” Bracy said. “Anytime you learn anything, you reach for your dreams. Your future and your dreams are connected.”
A is ‘Always positive’ while ‘C’ stands for ‘Choose kindness and greatness.’
“It’s a choice to give your best effort, to be on your best behavior,” Bracy said.
Part of that is also learning how to walk away from situations, whether it is on the playground or in the classroom, when being upset could cause problems between students.
“There are times when we get mad, upset,” the coach admitted, then urged the students to remember another chant – “Hold up before you do it, take a second to think through it.”
Students eagerly heard the message Bracy was delivering and, with assistance from his ‘Coach Kindness’ Susan Schultz running the slide show, he kept students entertained and informed.
Finally, the ‘E’ stands for ‘Each one reach one’ – encouraging students to say something complimentary to at least one person each day.
“The way we can make the world a better place is to reach out to someone and give them a compliment,” he said. “Reach out to one person you don’t know, say something kind, something encouraging.
“You and I can make this world a better place if we reach out every day.”