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There are countless moments in our lives that not only reveal our character but help to build it. Students in grades 3, 4 and 5 captured those moments in a writing assignment that integrated character education, language arts, and PE. The assignment: Think of the current month’s character focus — Resilience — and then think of a story from your own life when you needed to be resilient. And by the way, it must be a story involving sports.

Throughout the month, PE teacher Kathy Simis started each class with the challenge, “Let’s be resilient today!” While hiking, students were invited to remember and recount their experiences with resilience and sports. “I must have heard hundreds of Resilience stories on those hikes,” Kathy remembers, “about soccer games, ski races, mountain biking competitions, horseback riding lessons — all kinds of things.” Students took their stories back to the homeroom, where teachers followed up with a writing opportunity. Individual stories were written, laminated, and bound together.

Nine bound volumes of Resilience stories have been created, one for each classroom in grades 3, 4 and 5.

“When a student is having a rough time of it,” Kathy explains, “these personal stories from fellow students can make a difference. We hope these stories will inspire, comfort, motivate, and help kids who need it to “be resilient today!”