No Child Left Behind

Nicholas - Brookfield, Illinois
Entered on February 23, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

When we are younger, the children we play with and talk to do not matter to us. But for some reason, as we grow up, we begin to segregate ourselves to only certain people. We as a human race do not know why we do this, whether it is our parents’ influence or the environment that surrounds us. I do know however that in my fourth and fifth grade year at Costello Elementary School, I had the privilege of befriending a girl who was mentally challenged. Her name was Sarah and she was the nicest person that I had ever met. Her disability was something that I looked past and did not care about.

Sarah and I met in our fourth grade homeroom class when we were assigned seats next to each other. At first, we had only talked on occasion when we had time or were working on something with each other. After a while I had helped her with some homework when we had free time in class. Well, during the annual parent teach conference in the middle of the school year, my mom was told that Sarah was doing a lot better in class and with her homework ever since I had been helping her. The teachers then asked my mom if I could possibly help Sarah more with her work before and/or after school. As soon as I was asked, I immediately said yes and began to work with her the next day after school. These study lessons went on from fourth grade all the way through fifth. Along with continuing, they had become more of a responsibility. I helped Sarah not only with her homework, but I gave her her tests and quizzes as well. The teachers would give me the tests and then I would sit with her and answer any questions she had; I would sit there until she was completely finished. It had seemed that she had adapted to the way I taught and helped her with the lessons we learned in class. I had become Sarah’s personal teacher and best friend. I remember the smile on her face when she got her first A, and the first test she took with all the other kids in class. I also remember the smile on her mother’s face when she thanked me for all the time I put in to help her daughter. But the thing that I will always remember is glow on Sarah’s face when after kids made fun of her, I would tell her that they were stupid and do not know how amazing she was. That no one can ever bring her down.

I believe that no child, no matter color, ethnicity, age, gender, or mental ability should ever be left behind. I believe that everyone on the planet today matters in someway, whether it be to the creation of world peace or to just one other human being that loves them. So, I would like to say that the next time that you have the chance to help a person in need, please take the time out of your busy life to give them a helping hand. And, even though I was the one who was teaching Sarah the lessons, she taught me something far more great: that there is something amazing in all of us that people do not always see and all we have to do is open the door and let it out.