"Sure," I replied. "What can I help you with?"
"I just wanted to let you know what a beautiful event this evening was and to share with you how proud I am of my granddaughter who was selected as a 2nd grade winner."
"Well," I responded. "She has a reason to be proud. There were over 1,100 entries this year and only 60 students were selected by Carol Ann Davis, Elizabeth Boquet, and their Poetry For Peace team at Fairfield University - a January tradition I've grown to love and one that truly unites our Jesuit Mission and Fairfield County. This year, too, the writers were published in an anthology with its own ISBN # - they truly are authors, at least in the eyes of the Library of Congress.
Usually, the Poetry For Peace reading is the culmination of a weeklong MLK event, but this year because of weather, the celebration of youthful writers turned into a kickoff. Fifty-five of the sixty students arrived with their families to offer their rhythmic readings for peace.
Dr. Elizabeth Petrino, Chair of the English Department, reflected on the evening best. She said, "This is a moment of the year that I look forward to most. It truly is a demonstration of many minds coming together in celebration of the spirit and wisdom of kids."
As I departed, a pair of proud grandmothers stopped Carol Ann Davis, Elizabeth Boquet and me to state, "You want to know why this was a brilliant occasion for us?" We asked them to share exactly why. "It's because Fairfield University placed its attention on what matters most - the young people who will be leaders tomorrow."
And with that, I knew the day was an incredible success.