Students at a DeSoto County elementary school Wednesday learned the importance of a good mindset and what was called “The Power of Yet.”

Two assemblies for youngsters held at Overpark Elementary School in Olive Branch brought that message in the form of a story, tricks with yo-yo’s and other items that had children expressing surprise, amazement and laughter, all at the same time learning a valuable life lesson, said Overpark school counselor Stacy Conklin.

The program is called NED’s Mindset Mission. NED, the name of the main character in the story told by the program presenter, is also an acronym for three bits of encouragement: (N)ever give up - understand the power of yet; (E)ncourage others - spark courage in other people; and (D)o your best - always be learning and growing.

The theme of the program fit well into the overlying theme of the year put forth by Overpark educators and Conklin as school counselor. The theme is titled “Mission Possible.”

An organization called All for KIDZ produces the NED’s Mindset Mission assembly with presenters that travel across the country. Conklin said no fee is charged, however schools that host the assembly must be willing to sell NED-messaged items, such as yo-yo’s, for a five-day period as a “Pay-It-Forward” option for another school to host an assembly.

“I am always looking to find programs that will help educate our students, have a great message, be kid-friendly and not be too costly,” Conklin said.

The sales of the items then helps cover costs for another school to have NED and his Mindset Mission appear at their school.

Overpark youngsters enjoyed a 45-minute program that had them laughing and enjoying the tricks and the story that was told.

NED is a cartoon boy who is on a mission to find his mindset and is led by clues and other characters. Through “The Power of Yet,” NED is able to climb Mt. Everest, find treasures on a Caribbean island and repair a sputtering spaceship.

The Power of Yet is to basically say, “I may not have accomplished something, yet, but it doesn’t mean I won’t ever accomplish it.” Applying the message to social, emotional and academic challenges will help students overcome those challenges, according to NED’s Mindset Mission.

The message may seem to be a lot for youngsters as young as kindergarten to embrace, but as teacher Chelsea Boggus pointed out, little five-year-olds understand more than we think they can.

“They are way more perceptive than a lot of people give them credit for,” Boggus said. “They understand and are able and capable of doing way more than a lot of times we give them credit for. I think it’s nice to expose them to bigger concepts like growth because they understand it more than we think they realize.”

First-grade teacher Heidi Sloan added her students are learning an uplifting message about how to view and handle themselves.

“They start very young and I think it is very important to have a positive mindset at this age,” Sloan said. “They are going to grow from here and while everything is going to get harder, I think as long as they stay positive, it is going to be a good thing.”

Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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