Reading School District is Red Knight proud.
The slam-dunk surprise for longtime super fan Bobby Weitzel. JROTC being named best Regulation Drill Team in the country. Hector Echevarria’s move-you-to-tears performance of “You Raise Me Up” at this year’s graduation ceremony. Our district Communications Department winning 23 state and national awards, Reading High’s SPP score (School Performance Profile) surpassing the state’s 70 percent benchmark and the German-American Exchange Program traveling across the globe, putting another layer of Red Knight pride on the map. Whew!
The list of recent #RSDproud accomplishments could stretch the length of North 13th Street — twice. But, as 13th and Union Elementary teacher and RHS alumnus Brooke Dower explains, often the most memorable #RSDproud moments are everyday occasions that nestle in your heart and never let go — a teacher remixing the “Whip and Nae Nae” song to teach sight words, a student mastering a math equation, a senior posting a selfie with her college acceptance letter, a huddle of kids shuffling with excitement as chicks hatch inside their classroom incubator. “The big things like Bobby, of course, make me so proud, but all the tiny, not-in-your-face moments are the ones that matter,” Dower says. “The ones that happen in our classrooms every single day. The moments with the real smiles, the real laughs and the real light bulb moments. Those are the moments that make me #RSDproud.”
For some, particularly those who reduce our district to nothing more than stereotypes and statistics, it might be difficult to understand just why so many of our students, staff, parents and alumni are #RSDproud. But instead of thinking our students are all trouble makers or assuming the worst, instead of calling them failures or judging them by their surroundings, take a moment to talk to them, to learn about them, to hear their stories. If you did, youwould see who they really “R” — diverse, role models, intelligent and hardworking, creative, involved in their community, passionate, talented and, above all, a family.
“I often tell people we’re not perfect, but we’re far better than the perception many have of us,” says Kristin Boyd Edwards, a RHS alumnus and RSD Director of Community Engagement. “#RSDproud has become our Red Knight rallying cry, and it’s a way to show the world the amazing moments that pop up in every corner of our district.”
That’s what makes #RSDproud more than a hashtag,says Shareetha Perry, a RHS alumnus who’s now a Glenside Elementary Pre-K teacher. “I am #RSDproud because it’s in my blood,” she says. “My mother taught in RSD, the same district where I received my education. I loved my teachers throughout school, and they left an imprint on my life. Now I’m following in my mother’s footsteps, and I’m able to leave an imprint on other children’s lives like teachers did for me. I love my job. Where else can you go and have 40 smiling little faces embrace you?"
So what makes you #RSDproud?
Lonnie Walker IV, RHS Class of 2017
The teachers and students are all in this together. And I play on the best basketball team ever.
Wanda Gonzalez-Crespo, RHS alumnus and ESL Director
RSD empowers our students with the skills and knowledge needed to overcome what others would perceive as insurmountable challenges. RSD helped me achieve a college education, and the staff here continues to do this work for other students every single day.
Amanda Wilson, RHS alumnus
Its grit. This is something we discussed recently with friends. Reading kids grow up with grit. You know the world isn’t perfect and you are so much better off for it. Grit is what makes you brush yourself off and get back up in life. Tolerance is a part of who you are, and diversity is all you know. These are not universals and cannot be taught.