January 31, 2020
Staff and students on the campus of Cypress Falls made commitments as part of the “Because I Said I Would” campaign on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.
The principal of Cy Falls, Rebecca Denton, started sharing the idea of committing to something that will better students and teach them skills that are used in their everyday lives.
“Every year, we pick a theme or an idea to overlay the entire year of things we want to work on. This year we heard a story by a gentleman named Alex Sheen about this movement that he started called “Because I Said I Would” and it’s based on this eulogy that he gave at his father’s funeral,” Mrs. Denton said. “He said his dad didn’t do anything great like cure cancer or save somebody's life, but he was just a man of his word and he kept his promises. So he started a Facebook campaign and said he didn’t really expect anything to come out of it, and he challenged people that if you wanted to make a promise, he’d send you a promise card.”
The campaign was a success and Mrs. Denton saw an opportunity to integrate it into this year’s theme. Students will be given a commitment card and they will be asked to write one commitment that they want to accomplish.
“It doesn’t have to be anything big, I mean it can be, but it also can be something as simple as you going to pick up three pieces of trash or going to turn in your homework or saying that you’re no longer going to be tardy to fifth period,” Mrs. Denton said. “It can be something simple, and we want people to put more attention on the things that they said they would do.”
Cy Falls will have their very own “Commitment Day” Snapchat filter along with a photo booth for students and staff to take pictures and post on social media. Mrs. Denton said providing these extra features was something else added to connect with students.
“I know I’m not of your world, but I am kind of in your world, like I could do it my way, but good grief I'm 50 years old, my way isn't going to reach you,” Mrs. Denton said. “So we are trying to use things that you guys use, and what do you guys use? You use social media. You guys use filters. So I think trying to reach you guys is important.”
Mrs. Denton saw a problem prior to this year and the “Because I Said I Would” campaign was something that she thought would be beneficial to combat the problem.
“I was blown away that so many kids don’t know everyone’s names in a class by February. And so at the beginning of this school year, we started a concentrated effort to get students to learn each other’s names,” Mrs. Denton said. “Next, we focused on greetings and said good morning, and we were showing it in real life rather than in a character lesson in class. We just want to make it a part of everyday students' lives because it is important.”
The program’s success has led to the decision to continue on with it next year along with a new theme.
“I don’t know if it will be a part of our overlying theme,” Mrs. Denton said. “But it is definitely something we will try to continue and it'll be one of the soft skills that we will continue to filter in.”