Page 10 - Palm City Spotlight - June '21
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Page 10, Palm City Spotlight                                                                                         DOUBLE SPACE

                                                          KidS corNer

       CCV Hosts Sixth Annual                                                                              Building Strengths In

       Constitutional Academic                                                                             Children
       Competition                                                                                         By Jim Forgan, Ph.D.,

       By Jackie Holfelder                                                                                 School Psychologist
         On April  27,                                                                                       What does your child
       two-person teams                                                                                    excel at? As a child I grew
       each  of students                                                                                   up in the Evil Knievel era
       from Jensen Beach                                                                                   and I was the best kid in
       (JBHS),  Martin                                                                                     my Miami neighborhood
       County (MCHS) and                                                                                   at jumping a bicycle across
       South Fork (SFHS)                                                                                   two open ramps and I have
       High Schools                                                                                        scars to prove it. Of course,
       discussed the                                                                                       my parents did not see this
       U.S. Constitution,                                The Honorable James McCann, recently retired from the   as my natural affinity and
       competing for                                     19th Judicial Court, the Honorable Alan Forst of 4th District   encouraged me to become a dentist. I didn’t believe I
       scholarships  to  be  Tom Campenni, vice chair of Center   Court of Appeals and the Honorable Darren Steele of 19th   was good at science and did not pursue this career but in
       used towards their  for Constitutional Values and Dr.   Judicial Court presided over the oral arguments at the Sixth   hindsight, I could have become a dentist if they would
       higher educations.  Mark Malham, coordinator of   Annual Constitutional Academic Competition.       have just kept encouraging me.
         The event took  Social Studies for Martin County                                                    At 10 years old I already believed I wasn’t good at
       place at Stuart  School District at the Sixth     place scholarship of $1,000 each, the MCHS team of Jordan   math and science and this shaped my future career. I tell
       Learning Center,  Annual  Constitutional Academic   LoSardo and Jillian Plymale the second-place scholarship of   you this because you know your child best and you might
       located on East Tenth  Competition                $500 each; and the JBHS team of Shea Powers and Emily   need to continue to nudge and believe for your child until
       Street in Stuart.                                 Sarkar the third-place scholarship of $250 each.  he or she can believe on their own. Our kids have free will
         The Sixth Annual Constitutional Academic Competition     Scholarships are funded by donations from individuals   to decide their career path but as parents we recognize
       was the annual culmination of a series of qualifying debates   and organizations in Martin County and other locations.  their talents.
       in which the three schools participated. The Center for     To learn more about Center for Constitutional Values,     Building your child’s talents requires intentionality and
       Constitutional Values (CCV) and the Martin County School   visit  not every interest develops to be your child’s chosen path.
       District are cosponsors of this unique partnership.                        Photos by Jackie Holfelder  When my child was a teen he wanted to be a YouTuber.
         The topic discussed was “Which approach to judicial                                               He was great at technology so I encouraged him to
       interpretation of the                                                                               develop that interest but gave him opportunities for new
       Constitution provides the                                                                           experiences in areas I believed he might excel even more.
       strongest protection of                                                                               Here are three ways to build your child’s strengths.
       inherent rights: originalism                                                                        First, continue to encourage your child to try different
       or a living Constitution?”                                                                          activities including the ones that are out of their comfort
         Judging the performance                                                                           zone. Second, don’t give up on your child. You might
       of the three teams were jurists                                                                     invest time and money into your child’s music or dance
       Honorable Alan Forst of 4th                                                                         only to have her stop a short time later. No worries as
       District Court of Appeals,                                                                          it’s an experience that helped shape her. What’s next?
       Honorable Darren Steele                                                                             Finally, if needed, seek guidance. Maybe your child is a
       of 19th Judicial Court and                                                                          happy wanderer with little focus or struggling with his or
       Honorable James McCann,                                                                             her identity. There are counselors and career coaches that
       who recently retired from                                                                           can assist. You can find counselors at and
       the 19th Judicial Court.                                                                            a career coach at
         Dr. Mark Malham,                                                                                    Dr. Forgan and associates test kids ages 5 and older
       coordinator of Social Studies                                                                       for ADHD/ADD, dyslexia, gifted, learning disabilities,
       for Martin County School                                                                            and processing problems. Call (561) 625-4125 or visit
       District was moderator.                                                                   
         After the three teams
       presented their cases, the
       judges awarded the SFHS
       team of Kyle Ramos and  Constitutional debate participants and members of Martin County School District and Center
       Graeson Gajewski the first- for Constitutional Values at the Sixth Annual Constitutional Academic Competition
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