Mrs. Brown's Fourth Grade Blog

…our learning adventure

Citizenship Breakfast


To view photos for the event, please click on the photo below.

4th Grade Citizenship Breakfast

In fourth grade social studies, we have been learning the difference between rights and responsibilities, communicating fairly, solving problems collaboratively, and treating others with respect. We discuss different ways that we can be positive leaders in our school and in our community at large. The Citizenship Breakfast is such a special culminating event because it gives the fourth grade students the opportunity to think deeply about what citizenship really means and what it looks like in action. We are so thankful for our guests for providing positive role models for our students, giving them something to strive for as they grow and learn.

The event kicked off with each student sharing what they appreciated about their special guest of honor as well as what being a good citizen meant to them: voting, taking care of the Earth, standing up for the rights of others, providing medical help for those in need, serving in our military, donating to a charity, giving food to the hungry, donating clothes to a local goodwill, adopting pets that need homes, being honest, obeying the law, helping others, and much more.

The keynote address was given by Diane Hall, who runs a non-profit called Little Star Pony Foundation, providing assisted pet therapy. Little Star is a two-foot miniature horse that visits retirement homes and works with hospice patients and children with special needs. Diane’s foundation was inspired by her hospice work with Gwendolyn Strong, a local girl who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) at 6 months old.

After learning about the Foundation and the important work Little Star does, each fourth grader had an opportunity to receive a kiss from the miniature horse.

A heartwarming highlight of the event was the unique connection between the keynote speaker, the miniature horse, and one of the special guests being honored at the Citizenship Breakfast—Gwendolyn’s mother Victoria Strong. Victoria is a writer, advocate, and founder—along with her husband Bill—of the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, named after their late daughter to raise awareness and fund research on SMA.

Additional guests of honor included: Kent Wojciechoski, a retired police officer; Mary Fanaro, Founder of Omni Peace which has built eight schools for children in Africa; Janet Adderley, Founder and Artistic Director of The Adderley School for the Performing Arts; Adam Estabrook, a fireman; Brett Werner, a local organic farmer dedicated to saving family farms in the counties of SLO, Ventura, and Santa Barbara; Master Dave Wheaton, owner of Martial Arts Family Fitness; Kristen Fuerst, an ice skating coach; Kate Sulzbach, a riding coach (and Laguna alumna); Nathan Schley, a math tutor; Marcia Nogrady, a teacher; Angela Rockwell, Executive Director of ASAP (Animal Shelter Assistance Program); Dr. Will McClintock, Marine Scientist at UCSB; and Dr. Brett Grube, a local orthodontist.

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