Little promises :)

Sycamore Trails is an elementary school just outside of Chicago in Bartlett, Illinois. Kathy Mentink is a teacher there who heard about because I said I would. After following us on Facebook for a while, she thought it would be good to share the message with students at the school. Kathy emailed me and asked if I could come speak to the kids. We arranged a school-wide assembly that took place on Monday, September 23rd. I drove about 6 hours from Cleveland to Sycamore Trails and the first thing I saw when I entered the building was this awesome sign…

The banner hanging at the entrance of Sycamore Trails :)

As I waited for the first assembly to start, I saw this a little flyer on the wall of the cafeteria. I asked a teacher about the “Sycamore Pledge” and she said that the kids recite this promise everyday 🙂

The school says this pledge everyday.

I was excited to share the message with the kids, but I have to admit… it was intimidating crowd. I wanted to make sure I could share the importance of a promise in a way that kids could really understand. During the drive out to the Chicago area, I had a new thought about promises that I incorporated into the speech to Sycamore Trails. I recently watched Iron Man 3 and I started to think about what makes us so fascinated with superheroes as children and adults. Certainly we all love their super-human powers – the ability to fly, super strength, martial arts skills and so on. But as I reflected on the true nature of superheros in movies (and even heroes in real life) I realized there was something more to them. A superhero stays true to his or her word. They are committed to a cause and they will go to almost any extent to fulfill their, even at great self-sacrifice. They don’t give up and they are as reliable as the sun is bright. I shared this thought with the kids and they seemed to agree.

Intimidating crowd :)

After the assembly, I went around to each individual classroom and personally handed 10 promise cards to every kid. Many of them scrambled for pens and started to make promises.


The card below was written by a third grader named Darren. He gave this promise to the Mrs. Westerman, the school’s librarian. I followed up with Mrs. Westerman this week to see if Darren had kept his promise. In an email she said “He kept his promise and returned his books on Monday! YAHOO!!!” Sometimes it’s just the little things that make us happy 🙂

Darren in the 3rd grade gave this to his librarian and kept his promise!

And that card was beginning! Apparently the kids made a giant Promise Wall banner and started writing their promises on it. The thing was huge…

Here are some of the promises that were written on that banner…


5 more chapter books




I promise to become an Eagle Scout before I turn 18 years old by working hard and being a good boy scout.



I will help my Dad until he can walk again because he had crutches for 60 years and it’s hard for him to walk everyday.

sycamore 1

These kids were awesome. Hopefully I will be able to visit again one day. The teachers at Sycamore Trails said they would send me an update sometime in the future. Thank you again to Kathy for giving me the opportunity to visit. I really appreciate her support.

The Daily Herald (local news) came out and covered the visit to Sycamore Trails. Click here to check out the article.