“We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”  - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    May, 2016                                

    Dear Forest Lake Community,


    The book that I have chosen as this month’s book of the month is called Because Amelia Smiled  by David Ezra Stein.   This story is a classic “Pay it forward” type story where students learn how one simple gesture could help to make the world a better place.


    “Because Amelia smiles as she skips down the street, her neighbor Mrs. Higgins smiles too, and decides to send some cookies to her grandson, Lionel….in Mexico. The cookies give Lionel an idea, and his idea inspires a student, who in turn inspires a ballet troupe…..in England.  And so the good feelings travel across the world, inspiring ever more smiles, kindness, and love along the way.”


    This past February, we celebrated Kindness Week at Forest Lake.  The first day for this week focused on sharing a smile with as many people as you could.  We learned that smiling was infectious and could be “caught” like the flu.  Our goal for that day was to start a smiling epidemic and help to infect the school with smiles.  The result was students filling each other’s buckets and feeling good about themselves throughout the day!  This is exactly the attitude that we try to spread at Forest Lake.  We teach our students how a single smile or a simple hello could help make a difference in the life of the recipient.  It is small gestures like this that help to spread the positive feeling that embodies Forest Lake throughout the year.  This book is a perfect reminder of how important and life changing a simple smile can be.  It is my hope that after reading this story, students will continue to be encouraged to smile and say “hello” to as many people as possible.  They may be surprised at how many new friends they make by doing so. 


    Happy Reading!


    Anthony F. Ciuffo, Jr.


    Anthony F. Ciuffo, Jr.