A True “Pay It Forward”

Newly Established Carley Crandall Stone                       Scholars Together Student Scholarship Fund

Many of us are familiar with Robert Fulghum’s book, All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” In it the author relates that so many of the important things about taking care of ourselves, following guidelines, having a balanced day, sharing with others, being reliable, etc….those things that are KEY to a satisfying life experience, were taught and practiced in our kindergarten experience many moons ago. Well, I realized that if I wrote a similar book it would be titled “All the Successful Strategies at the Basis of our Scholars Together Curriculum I Learned from my Mom.”

It is really true. Of course there are specific academic facts that arise in our study that I didn’t acquire from my mom, and some therapeutic techniques that I have gleaned from experience in this field, BUT THE BASIS of how I see, interact and follow through with our Scholars students DID come from her example of mothering and living.

She taught that clutter in our bedrooms grew clutter and lack of focus in our minds and there were consistent consequences that nudged us to keep things clean and organized. There were chores that were our definite responsibility to complete as a part of being in a family and it was expected that they were done thoroughly and promptly. If that didn’t happen we had plenty of “practice” time doing them until we could be counted on to complete them satisfactorily. At dinner we ate what was prepared without complaining and it became natural to show our gratitude for the effort, thought and love that went into the meal preparation. Honesty was cherished and revered, and we were given opportunities to “come clean” with honor, taking note of how different it felt inside oneself to be trapped by an untruth, as opposed to using courage and a high sense of what is right in order to be truthful. There were rules and guidelines in our home that were clear and adhered to. She taught us that it was not her job to keep us entertained, so we came up with things to do on our own that stimulated our creativity or gave us needed quiet time. We learned to share with one another gracefully, but also experienced the happiness that came when a brother or sister got a gift, without expecting that we would get one at that same time. She showed us consistency and SO much love and kindness. There were high expectations, but also the knowledge that we learned from mistakes. Though she was rarely involved in hands-on help with our homework, because it was clearly OUR homework, she was committed to academics, and that showed itself in the expectation that our school work always was completed first. There was a reverence for “school nights” that restricted late night or entertainment activities. She was insightful, but guided us to make our own way and make thoughtful decisions.

Most importantly, she was bent on acknowledging the good that she KNEW to be our true nature EVERY day. She spent specific time every morning (and at other times during the day) to list our inherent good qualities that represented who we REALLY were, and showed us how to do the same…required us to do the same. She got so excited (and passed it along to us) over simple things…she made little things like a half-filled glass of Vernors a real treat. They just happened once in a while, so they were special. She taught us to be quiet if another was sleeping or on the phone…we didn’t interrupt. And she was SO tender and good in the way SHE lived, the way she greeted and interacted with others. She worked hard and found joy in doing for others….and so much more.

I strive to live this way and I see that many of these traits and qualities that she passed along so effectively DO live on in our Scholars community in our standards, goals, and in our tone and expectations with our students. Imbibing in this same spirit that brings forth this type of fruit in others means even more to me now that her physical presence isn’t with me…but I can continue to live and teach these qualities and skills in tribute to her.

My mom was SO supportive of the Scholars Together goals and objectives. We had SO many deep conversations over the years with the motive of seeing the true nature of each student and gleaning ways to help them see their true potential and shrug off the supposed limits that may have been placed upon many of them. She is an amazing example of how to BE, how to teach by example and consistency.

This scholarship fund, that is now established in her honor, is for the purpose of acknowledging her wonderful life and gifts, and to enable others — who have the desire to pursue a path of high standards, hard work, admirable character qualities, and quiet and tender moments in order to become all that they can be — an opportunity to work in the Scholars Together community.

There is such a need for a fund of this nature that is a perpetual, ongoing fund. Several of our families use their creativity, deep desire, and even friends and family members to help them find the funds in order to enroll in our program. Others are unable to provide this opportunity for their child. At times Scholars staff has used their own funds in order to help a family in need, or have sought out funds from their friends and family, as well, to help cover the expenses of a student. As with all private educational venues, Scholars can not operate with tuition funds alone. It is necessary to procure funds from individual donors and community businesses.

We have established this special scholarship fund as a way to provide funding support for students in need, as well as honor my mom, Carley Stone, for her direct and indirect contributions to Scholars and the lives of those who had the opportunity to know, love and admire her. Though financial support is certainly a primary need in order to perpetuate a scholarship fund, we also request your ideas and thoughts on how to best fulfill this mission that would create a five-year scholarship fund. We are grateful for any offerings that you are able to share for this project, whether it be financial support, ideas, expertise or active support.


Tien Stone Langlois, Director/Lead Instructor                                                                   Scholars Together Learning Community, Inc., A 501(c)3 non-profit organization


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