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Challenge: It's Back to School: Share Your Advice

'You are included': A letter to my daughter at the start of the school year

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As summer draws to a close, a new beginning is in store for you.

People are naturally drawn to you. Words cannot compare to the sparkle in your eyes and the warmth of your smile.


School is an adventure waiting to be explored. Each day brings with it a little more independence. In Kindergarten you started recognizing the letters of the alphabet. Now, you are working hard on decoding and comprehension. Science is your favorite subject. You learn best when you are involved and getting your hands dirty.

This road you are traveling will teach you many wondrous things. When you are coloring a picture I see you try so hard to stay within the lines. Remember that sometimes a picture will become even more beautiful if you ignore those lines and let yourself shine through.

As you grow, you continuously amaze everyone with all of your hidden talents. You have come so far on your journey, and the road was often filled with bumps, hills, and even mountains that you needed to overcome. Now, your path seems clear. That’s not to say there won’t be challenges, but you are strong. I know you will persevere because you have proven yourself so many times in the past.

If you ever feel discouraged, remember that your support team always has your back. Above all, you can always count on me. After all, I am your biggest fan.

As I anticipate what this new school year has in store for you, I am so excited to watch you grow and develop new skills.

I know how much you love school and being around your friends. As we enter the building, your enthusiasm can be felt by those around you. Your classmates can’t wait to see you and call out your name as they see you pass by in the hallway. I pray everyone you encounter will be this kind.

When you stumble, may there always be a hand to hold. When you are uncertain, may a friendly smile greet you. You and your classmates are more alike than different. May they take the time to listen and learn all that makes you special.

You are included.

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