Our children are the future. If we want to create a brighter tomorrow then we must, as a community, strive to provide light for today’s youth. Houston Elementary recognizes that our children are not only in need of a good education with good educators, but also excellent role models.
The administrators and teachers at Houston Elementary have created Houston’s Heros to put these role models into the spotlight for their students. Over the past few weeks on Thursday mornings, public servants such as the DPS Troopers, Fire Department, and the Police Department have been opening students’ car doors to wish them a wonderful day at school. This small gesture will have a huge impact on their day. Principle Salazar lists several ways this will affect the kids. “Number one, they’re going to be exposed to a variety of career choices. Number two, they’re going to see the great things that are happening in Mineral Wells. And number three, it starts their day off on the right foot.”
By using individuals within our community the students can strive for something bigger than they might have imagined. Fireman Robert White is excited to be a part of this project and to inspire the kids every chance he can. He says, “The biggest thing is an inspiration. You’re inspired by people doing great things out in the community. When people go and show an interest in their entity and show an interest in you. Then you feel inspired for greatness.”
With this powerful encouragement, anything can be possible for these students. Teacher Mrs. Dunsworth sees great potential for the students based on this program. She describes this as, “I think it will give them something to think about and look forward to as they grow up. Maybe let them think about something they may want to be.”
Throughout the controversy of this past year, the pandemic has left all individuals feeling some sort of fear, especially children. There has been a stigma in all public servant jobs. A sense of concern in the air whether it be with law enforcement, fire department, doctors, or even teachers. By creating this arrangement it allows young children to personally get to know their service members, and changing this perspective. Officer Celeb Randall expresses that this is something that needs to be more common. He states. “Something like this, is something officers need to do more often: to interact with kids. They might see us with all the negativity going on nowadays, but for us to actually be out here with them; to be greeting them, talking to them, and seeing that we’re actually nice people. That needs to happen more often.”
Chief Ryan Dunn knows that meeting a fireman in action can be frightening for a small child. It is his hope that he and his team can change that by building a bond with the children of Mineral Wells. “I think knowing that they should not be afraid of us. It lets them know that we are nice human beings, because usually when they see us in our fire gear, it can be a little intimidating. It builds a good rapport with the kids as well.”
Detective Menchaca wants the children to feel safe and comfortable with law enforcement. She anticipates this program will help to do that, “Us getting the opportunity to talk to them more often, and getting them used to us is really going to help them as they grow up. It makes it to where they want to come to us when something bad happens.” So this program not only helps them to build a bond but also provides safe havens as well.
Houston Elementary is planning on continuing Houston’s Heros throughout next year. They hope to incorporate all the community into their heroes as well. For instance, they plan to have a new set of heroes each week for the students, including doctors, nurses, police, DPS, fire department, animal control, veterinarians, and much more. This arrangement has endless possibilities with all positive outcomes for these students and parents. We of Mineral Wells can’t wait to see our community changing lives with you next year!
The kids Fun Countdown to the end of school year with our MWFD: https://fb.watch/5GDQGqeMup/
Writer | I graduated from Weatherford College with an Associates in Art, focusing on history, creative writings, sociology, and humanities. Experience in child development, client care, and runs local Spoken Word Poetry group for young teens.