[Congressional Record Volume 157, Number 182 (Wednesday, November 30, 2011)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E2141]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                   HON. LOUISE McINTOSH SLAUGHTER --

                              of new york-

                    in the house of representatives

                      Wednesday, November 30, 2011

  Ms. SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate French Road 
Elementary School in Brighton, New York for recently earning its 
designation as a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School. The United States 
Department of Education grants this prestigious award to schools 
demonstrating a high level of academic excellence or where the 
achievement gap is shrinking. Secretary Arne Duncan describes National 
Blue Ribbon Schools as those, ``committed to accelerating student 
achievement and preparing students for success in college and 
  As one of only 315 schools across the nation to earn this honor, 
French Road Elementary School embodies the standard of excellence this 
award celebrates and is an example for others to emulate.
  While nothing should diminish the hard work and talents of French 
Road Elementary School's individual teachers and students, 
Superintendent Dr. Kevin McGowan accurately stated that this honor 
reflects, ``the support of an incredible school community.''
  Community is a central component of French Road Elementary School. 
Its students are not only encouraged to succeed academically but to be 
constructive members of their communities. In an era where school 
bullying is far too prevalent, French Road students start their day by 
reciting the school's Purple Hand Pledge. It reads, ``I will not use my 
hands or my words for hurting myself or others.'' It is a simple 
message that should be emphasized more throughout school communities 
around the country.
  Articulating the school's underlying values, this pledge has helped 
to foster the strong sense of community found among these third, fourth 
and fifth graders.
  For instance, when entering French Road's courtyard you will find 
students working side by side in the school's community garden to grow 
healthy, pesticide-free vegetables for each other's enjoyment and to 
supplement the cafeteria menu.
  However, their sense of community extends beyond their school yard, 
classmates and immediate neighbors. Over the past 30 years, French Road 
students have raised $1,265,000 through the American Heart 
Association's Jump Rope for Heart Event, to benefit children across the 
country with cardiac abnormalities. During the 2010 to 2011 school 
year, these young philanthropists raised $75,489.29; $20,000 more than 
any other school nationwide. They have been the event's number one 
fundraiser for the past 12 years.
  The administrators, teachers, parents and students of French Road 
Elementary School form a truly remarkable community deserving of this 
Blue Ribbon recognition. Its students move on with the necessary 
foundation to accomplish many great things, as well as the desire to 
leave their communities better than they found them.
  Mr. Speaker, I could not be more proud to recognize this school in 
the United States House of Representatives and hope to help others 
follow in its footsteps.