During the girls' Leadership class they discussed the many thoughts that go into choosing to be a citizen or a member of a group. Ingrid Danilewitz, herself a naturalized citizen, and the girls have discussed extensively the qualities and attributes of leadership and character. They have analyzed quotes from past presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama. Many of these have been incorporated into a poetic tribute to the new citizens. The focus has been on identifying the important messages of character and leadership that these presidents have conveyed.
The girls presented the poem to the new citizens at the ceremony.
Baiba Vasys, Ingrid Danilewitz and Anne-Mette Hansell are all naturalized citizens. One of our girls is not a U.S. citizen, several are dual citizens, and many have parents that are naturalized. Those parents were born in India, Pakistan, the Philippines, England and China.
The Naturalization Ceremony
April 14, 2011
(This is the poem the girls recited. It's written by Ingrid Danilewitz after much work by the girls on leadership and character.)
Fellow Americans, we share in your pride
Today, April 14, you all take a giant stride
Now a citizen of a country, new to you
Your allegiance to America will always be true.
What better way to welcome you all then
Than to share words of wisdom from some important men
Past presidents of these United States they are
Take heed of their words, they will carry you far.
We fifth grade leaders of The Baldwin School
Share inspirational ideals found to be useful tools
For you, dear citizens may choose to follow or lead
Still, American values grow from the same seed.
Our first, great president you are all bound to know…….
George Washington, the seeds of liberty did sow
“Liberty, when it takes root, is a plant of rapid growth”
A most prized freedom as you all knowth.
Thomas Jefferson stood up for a cause
With total conviction, he refused to pause
“One man with courage is a majority” he’d say
So be bold and upright, the American way.
“An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory”
An American value, so integral to our history
President Fillmore prized honesty to its very core
As a citizen of the world what could possibly matter more?
Abraham Lincoln or “Honest Abe” will do too
Concerned himself always, with the righteous thing to do
“If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong” he’d proclaim
We are all G-d’s children we’re entitled to the same.
Said Benjamin Harrison, “Great lives never go out, they go on”
Give unstintingly, is the lesson, until each job is well done
If you give only your best from the very start
You’ll be warmly remembered long after you depart.
Theodore Roosevelt was a patriot of note
He was quite well known for the following quote,
“The only man who makes no mistake is the man who does nothing”
So try, take a chance, often a gift, a mistake can bring.
Thomas Woodrow Wilson liked to dream
You become as big as your dream it would seem
“All big men are dreamers” That’s what makes them grow
Dear citizens, the American dream is now yours to know.
And John Calvin Coolidge would not underestimate
“Character is the only secure foundation of the state”
Yes CHARACTER fellow citizens is what it’s all about
It far outweighs status or material clout.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself ” sound advice
It was another Roosevelt, F.D., who understood fear’s price
Be strong and courageous, and alert for the test
Put anxieties aside and all uncertainties to rest.
America and freedom go hand in hand
Sing the freedom song, strike up the band
Dwight Eisenhower describes America best in one word
FREEDOM, the most cherished word ever heard.
“Ask not what your country can do for you…”
Think back, think carefully, do you know who…?
John F Kennedy will be remembered for this famous plea
Give loyalty and service to your new country.
“In this springtime of hope, some lights seem eternal. America’s is.”
Ronald Reagan, our 40th president, these words were his
He believed in America then, just as we do now
We salute you fellow Americans, we wholeheartedly bow.
Now is the time, this is your season
Your naturalization we celebrate, what better reason
“YOU are the change we seek ” This is President Obama’s call
With open arms we welcome you, one and all.