A morning assembly March 19 at Chester Elementary School brought kindergarteners through sixth-graders to the school’s gymnasium to transform how students face life’s challenges with a lively presentation by Lee-Ron Chan of The NED Show.
Chan was a captivating performer with non-stop energy and interaction with the students, taking them on a memorable journey filled with humor, yo-yo play, magical illusions, puppetry, and storytelling.
During the 45-minute assembly, he introduced a cartoon boy named NED with spiky hair who is on a very important mission: to find his mindset.
Led by clues, loveable NED overcomes Mt. Everest’s toughest obstacles, uncovers inner-treasures on a Caribbean island, and grows his brain while repairing a sputtering spaceship.
Throughout the performance, students discovered how to activate their growth mindset to overcome social, emotional and academic challenges.
Headquartered in Lynnwood, Washington, the NED assemblies have been performed in all 50 states and around the world, helping schools maintain a year-round focus on character education.
“NED’s Mindset Mission is a character building opportunity for elementary children that focuses on a positive mindset,” Chan explained, reinforcing messages that teach kids to never give up, encourage others and to do their best in every endeavor they set their minds to.
Put more simply: Never give up. Encourage others. Do your best, using the acronym NED as a device for kids to remember whenever they feel there’s an impediment in their lives. Chan had the kids repeat the mantra a number of times to complement his storytelling.
The show, last performed at the school in 2003, was packed full of positive imagery meant to engage, entertain, educate and inspire the students.
“It’s important to learn from mistakes and never give up,” Chan reiterated; the student body fully enraptured as he demonstrated a number of skillful yo-yoing tricks, as a metaphor for how practice and persistence pays off in greater fulfillment when one accepts nothing less than their personal best.
“Everyone who learns to yo-yo will make mistakes along the way,” he said, again signaling the students to exclaim in unison to “Never give up!”
Students heard that courage was a part of the word encouragement, and letting go of “I know” was necessary so that they can learn and grow.
The NED Show was no doubt an unforgettable experience in the minds of the children that attended.
While packing his props after the finish of the presentation, Chan explained that the organization has a pay-it-forward program as an option to paying a fee, as a unique way to bring the program to schools at no cost.
“We go to schools and put on the show for free,” he said, “and then for the next five to 10 days the schools make our yo-yo’s available for purchase,” sold by the students to friends and family members.” … And whatever they make pays for another school to have their own NED show.”
Chan noted that this option means the school’s budget doesn’t become a factor in whether or not they can share NED’s character-building principles with students, because another school has already covered the cost.