[Congressional Record Volume 157, Number 182 (Wednesday, November 30, 2011)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
CONGRATULATING FRENCH ROAD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
HON. LOUISE McINTOSH SLAUGHTER --
of new york-
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate French Road
Elementary School in Brighton, New York for recently earning its
designation as a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School. The United States
Department of Education grants this prestigious award to schools
demonstrating a high level of academic excellence or where the
achievement gap is shrinking. Secretary Arne Duncan describes National
Blue Ribbon Schools as those, ``committed to accelerating student
achievement and preparing students for success in college and
As one of only 315 schools across the nation to earn this honor,
French Road Elementary School embodies the standard of excellence this
award celebrates and is an example for others to emulate.
While nothing should diminish the hard work and talents of French
Road Elementary School's individual teachers and students,
Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan accurately stated that this honor
reflects, ``the support of an incredible school community.''
Community is a central component of French Road Elementary School.
Its students are not only encouraged to succeed academically but to be
constructive members of their communities. In an era where school
bullying is far too prevalent, French Road students start their day by
reciting the school's Purple Hand Pledge. It reads, ``I will not use my
hands or my words for hurting myself or others.'' It is a simple
message that should be emphasized more throughout school communities
around the country.
Articulating the school's underlying values, this pledge has helped
to foster the strong sense of community found among these third, fourth
and fifth graders.
For instance, when entering French Road's courtyard you will find
students working side by side in the school's community garden to grow
healthy, pesticide-free vegetables for each other's enjoyment and to
supplement the cafeteria menu.
However, their sense of community extends beyond their school yard,
classmates and immediate neighbors. Over the past 30 years, French Road
students have raised $1,265,000 through the American Heart
Association's Jump Rope for Heart Event, to benefit children across the
country with cardiac abnormalities. During the 2010 to 2011 school
year, these young philanthropists raised $75,489.29; $20,000 more than
any other school nationwide. They have been the event's number one
fundraiser for the past 12 years.
The administrators, teachers, parents and students of French Road
Elementary School form a truly remarkable community deserving of this
Blue Ribbon recognition. Its students move on with the necessary
foundation to accomplish many great things, as well as the desire to
leave their communities better than they found them.
Mr. Speaker, I could not be more proud to recognize this school in
the United States House of Representatives and hope to help others
follow in its footsteps.