Everyday Heroes Winner - Mr. Kennedy

Sponsored - Our Everyday Heroes November winner, Mr. Kennedy of Camp Dick Elementary was nominated because: “Mr. Kennedy is definitely an everyday hero to his students at Camp Dick Elementary. At the beginning of each day Mr. Kennedy stands at the gym doors inviting each child in to begin the day with time on the equipment, walking, running or passing football until time for class. Gym equipment you might be thinking. Mr. Kennedy went through training so that our elementary school is the only one in the state that is Crossfit certified! This allowed Mr. Kennedy to apply for a grant that allowed our school to receive rowing machines, stationary bikes, ski machines and so much more!! With this equipment he has started a program called zero hour for those students struggling academically and with attendance. He allows these students time each morning on the equipment. He logs their enthusiasm and progress each day and then compares it with attendance records and progress reports from their teachers. This is a new program, but they are hoping to see big changes in these student's behavior, attendance and grades! He has also incorporated an after-school fitness program for kids that is available for kids to participate in twice a week. But of course, he can't forget about the teachers. They have their own wellness program and yes, he does keep track of their progress as well! On top of all the fitness programs he oversees he also oversees the Bobcat mileage club. Mr. Kennedy keeps track of how many miles every child in the school runs/walks each day. He sends a card home that they can fill out and bring back in to add to their mileage. He keeps track outside the gym where everyone can see as well as presenting certificates to each student periodically throughout the year.

To help pay for a much-needed extra storage building (after receiving equipment from that grant I was telling you about early, it included tennis rackets, etc. that wouldn't fit in the gym) Mr. Kennedy hosted the first annual Bobcat Bolt. He set up different station jump rope, hula hoop, food trucks, etc. and held a 5k walk run for students and family. You signed up with an entry fee, got a t-shirt and all proceeds went to the building.

Mr. Kennedy also oversees the safety patrol program. This is a group of 5th graders that help with drop off and pickup each morning. They also help with assemblies and special events during and after school.

Mr Kennedy also started the Watchdog program at our school. This program allows dads (that have been through training and background checks) to sign up for a day to help out with school. They help with drop off, pickup, get to spend time with their students' class and also other classes Mr. Kennedy assigns them to. My husband loves this program and was amazed by the amount of kids he had never met wanting hugs, high fives, etc. This brings positive role models into a poor school as well as an extra set of eyes. He also had seen to it that some of these dads enter a mentor program. They walk along with those students the school is aware of that need extra attention and guidance.

He has started a wellness advisory council comprised of teachers and parents. This committee is dedicated to making sure the kids stay active, including fun activities for staff and students.

Mr. Kennedy also puts together an annual Jump with Dads day. Volunteers come for a few days and count how many times each student jump ropes in two minutes. He then holds an assembly and picks 5 dads (last year 5 moms as well). Each grade has a high score written on the board for the week, the goal is to try to beat the dads jumps. It's a really fun event.

He also does a jump for heart fundraiser to raise awareness and money for heart disease.

Last but not least, he is the schools Kagan Coach. He receives training and then gives all those teachers tools how to keep students engaged. This is very important in a society that our kids are constantly entertained. They go to school and it is so boring to them. This teaches them ways to keep their interest so they can absorb all the knowledge the teachers have for them!

I cannot say how much Mr. Kennedy means to the staff and children of Camp Dick Robinson, as Mrs. Lawson said, "He has changed the whole dynamic of our school. He is always high energy, enthusiastic and knows every child’s name the first week of school.”

Everyday Heroes is brought to you by: Hicks & Funfsinn and Athenian Grill

“As personal injury attorneys, we normally are the helpers. We help folks injured in accidents and their families receive the compensation they deserve. However, we believe it is just as important to recognize Everyday Heroes, who too often don’t get the fortune or fame they deserve. It is a wonderful thing to celebrate Kentucky’s local helpers, which we hope will inspire others in the community to become helpers themselves and give back to their neighbors in need.” – Greg Funfsinn, from Hicks & Funfsinn