Mt. Airy 7-year-old Changes the World for Others
Even a child can change the world.
Some people probably think first graders spend all of their time finger painting, playing letter and number games and listening to lots of fun stories. But at Millennium Charter School in Mount Airy, students are encouraged to think much bigger. In mid-April, first grade teacher Sheena Slate challenged her class to change the world through a citizenship project they put into action. 7-year-old Cheyenne Noel Rogers says her inspiration came from her grandfather, Larry France. Last December, the 60-year-old died of lung cancer at Joan & Howard Woltz Hospice Home in Dobson.
“My Papa spent the last few weeks of his life at hospice," explains Cheyenne, who describes them as very close. "While I was there, I saw they had a movie theater and I noticed they didn’t have many DVD’s,” says Cheyenne. She says her grandfather liked watching movies with her and her 3-year-old brother, Luke. She also noticed other children appeared bored while visiting relatives at hospice. So she decided to build up the movie library in the entertainment room. “Me and Mommy wrote a letter to my classmates in first grade and to the people who work with my Daddy," says Cheyenne. "We also printed labels so the people at the hospice home would know who donated the movies.”In five days, Cheyenne collected around 70 family-friendly movies, as well as a few CD’s and games from classmates and friends. Then she and her parents delivered them to Joan & Howard Woltz Hospice Home in Dobson. Some of the workers helped her assemble a stand for the movies. Some went into the Children's Room and others are now in the Entertainment/Family Room. Marketing Director Shelia Jones says the gift is a needed distraction for families who are struggling with the impending death of a loved one. “The person staying there can watch a movie with their grandchild one last time," explains Jones. "People can also bring their own home movies and watch a birthday celebration or a wedding they haven’t seen in years.”Cheyenne says this civics project has taught her many things, and now she believes she and her friends can make a difference. “Yes, I think I can change the world if I really work hard at it,” says Cheyenne. This fall, she'll enter second grade at Millennium Charter School.