Sparky Saves the Galaxy by Marissa Corea

23 05 2017

Dear Champions, Alumni and Family, Friends, and Followers of the Champions Program,

My name is Marissa Corea and I am a 2nd year champion of this amazing program. I have just finished my undergraduate degree at the University of the Fraser Valley in Kinesiology, with a major in Pedagogy, and will be walking across the stage on June 7th.  As of this moment, I am still proudly a UFV student, and I find myself putting this blog into times new roman font, size 12, so I am not quite used to the thought of graduation just yet.

This year, I am lucky enough to be placed at my same school from last year, T.N Kirrnon, with Elizabeth Oliva and Cole Young.  This is such a wonderful and unique experience for me because I have transitioned from being terrified and having no experience with children last year, to being in a position where I am there to support my two first time champions (who I must say, are much more equipped and confident than I was). I can confidently say, that they could have done it without me. They are two shinning stars at T.N. who continue to make me better each day that I am around them.

I also have had the pleasure of working as the curriculum coordinator with Arden Holmes, for the champions program. This means I looked over each lesson plan three times pre-departure to ensure each lesson was made with care and intention, (for those of you crunching the numbers at home, this roughly adds up to four hundred and fifty lessons to look over). I know this experience was a challenge for the first year undergraduates, but for myself as well, it seemed like an un-climbable mountain. Now, being here and seeing these lesson plans in action, makes me feel so proud of all the progress we have each made in our roles.

Today, I had the pleasure of seeing one of these lessons in particular in action and seeing all the hard work of the undergraduates fall into place was so amazing. We were working on responsibility and reading a story called, “Sparky Saves the Galaxy”, which is essentially about a Star who uses the power of kindness and how we can be responsible for the words we say, and be there for others who needs us.  Seeing Elizabeth read this story to our classes of grade three students was so captivating. I truly believe she has a flare for story telling, the students had all eyes on her during the entire story. After it was read, Cole introduced the following activity, which was to draw a picture and write a sentence about how you can be more like Sparky in your life. Walking around the classroom to see the things the students came up with just showed me how engaged they were in the story and how much they took it to heart. I saw everything from sharing lunch with someone who forgot his or hers, telling someone that they are beautiful, and even a picture of Sparky in a cowboy hat rounding up all the meanies out there.

Last year, I had a quote about trying 10,000 ways that don’t work, this year I have a different outlook on words such as success and failure, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning” Benjamin Franklin.

I want to thank Dr. Sheppard for allowing me to be a part of this program again, and knowing I wanted to come back, before I even knew.


Marissa Corea



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