The stories that count the most

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The horrific actions of a few disturbed young people, such as the recent stabbing episode at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, overshadow the accomplishments and goodness of so many others whose focus and goals are on achievement and helping others.


This past week, there were several stories that demonstrated that elementary, middle and high school students in Greene County, along with their “older” neighbors at Waynesburg University, have a set of priorities that direct them on peaceful paths, not destructive ones.


Though it might seem insignificant to some, we think the accomplishments of students in the Central Greene School District at the Fayette Invitational Regional Scrabble Tournament are worthy of recognition. The 14-member team captured seven first-place and three second-place trophies.


What’s so great about a Scrabble tournament? Think about it. Scrabble is a game that involves strategy and benefits students academically in the areas of spelling, word recognition, vocabulary development, computation, decision-making, risk-taking, good sportsmanship, fair play and social skills.


While we are not able to predict future behaviors, we find it quite unlikely that these qualities will make a child prone to committing acts of mayhem.


Then there was the story of students from Margaret Bell Miller Middle School capturing first place honors in the regional Mathcounts competition at Penn State Fayette. Congratulations to them.


And beginning Friday, Carmichaels Area High School will present an art exhibit featuring works from its students. From their art teacher: “They never fail to amaze me. I’m so excited to showcase their accomplishments.”


Last week, Greene’s county commissioners proclaimed May 2 as Paint Greene County Purple Day in recognition of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life of Greene County. In conjunction with this, Waynesburg University students will host its seventh annual Mini-Relay for Life Sunday. A representative from each student group on campus must walk for an hour at a time, making sure a team member is always on the course. The university’s goal is raising $18,000. The county’s Relay for Life event has raised $1.8 million over the past 16 years, a remarkable achievement for a county the size of Greene.


And we would be remiss if we overlooked one of the more significant aspects of Relay for Life – the number of youth teams participating. The high school students from around the county, church youth groups, 4-H club members and Scout troops who walked those extra miles represent, we feel, the true fabric of today’s American youth.


The Relay for Life participants, the Scrabble and Mathcounts winners and university students, all put in time and effort to accomplish good things. Their stories will not make front-page headlines or be covered on the national news.


But their stories, and successes, are the stories that count the most.


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