—-Work in Progress—-
Madison Isaac, Miss Notre Dame, had as her platform for this year’s River Days, “Scioto County Schools, Safe and Strong.” Its premise was to bring about awareness about school safety. Her event was on May 17th and she held a school safety fair, where she had carnival games that taught certain aspects of school safety. It was held on that day, after school. Isaac told of what she had set up. “I had five little carnival type games, one of them was a fire safety one and we had a little obstacle course, where we had pool noodles arranged in arches that taught the kids that where they were in a fire situation, they were to get low to the ground. My police safety one, was a pin the badge on the officer, which taught kids how to recognize law enforcement and not to be scared of them. Then, my traffic safety one, where they had to match the colored bean bags to the correct light, a green bean bag was to be thrown at the green light, etc. Then, the medical safety one was where we had medical things like band aids, gauze, and things that go with first aid, along with random household things and the kids were to pick what goes in a first aid kit and what does not. Finally, I had a personal safety station that I think they really liked, because they got to make name tags that looked like little badges. It taught them important things about themselves, like their parents’ names, addresses and home phone numbers.” Isaac said that she came up with most of the ideas herself with some help from Pinterest.
What peaked her interest in school safety she said, “Back in 2008, there was a school shooting and stabbing at Notre Dame Elementary. I was in first grade at that time and I was actually in the room below where the shooting and stabbing took place. So, it is something that is very close to the Notre Dame Community, especially in my age group with my peers. I also realized it is such a relevant topic in the world today. Just in this year, there have been 50 school shooting in the first two months of the year. I thought that it would be a great platform, because I can show how this is a problem in our world today, but how it also happens in small rural communities like ours, and we need to be prepared, because it can happen again.”
Isaac continuedto tell of the day of the incident, and how that they were not supposed to bring toys to school, but for some reason that day, she had brought a lot of stuffed animals to school. “All my friends took them out of my backpack and were holding them. They were a bunch of Blues Clues toys and I don’t remember sneaking toys in before that day or after that day.” She did say as seven year old’s, it didn’t register that something that tragic had happened. She didn’t want to scare people with her platform. She just wanted the kids to feel empowered, if something like that would happen again.
To get the kids to come to her event, Isaac said she was able to talk to the school at Notre Dame Elementary, with the help of Mr. Mac. “He was so helpful. I also made a Facebook page. Unfortunately, we still struggled with the turnout, but in my eyes, I feel whether I’m teaching 30 kids or I’m teaching two, it is still impactful and it still reaches what I want. I think it was a timing issue, the evenings were still full for kids with Little League and things like that.”
She told of how with this particular event, “we made it free, no admission fee, concession stand was free, that sort of thing, because we wanted more people to come. I have a couple of ideas for future projects, that is like that, but I do want to raise money for our local law enforcement and the K-9 unit. The thing that stood out the most at my event, was the K-9 demonstration. The kids loved it!”
Isaac continued, “I feel like every little girl at some point in their life in this county, wants to be the River Days Candidate for their school, definitely me. I can remember sitting with my great-grandparents, and my great-great-grandparents, watching the parade, wishing I could be Miss Notre Dame someday. And then, it kind of grew more meaning, when I was ten years old, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and I think through River Days, I want my goal to be to inspire people. I want to inspire people who have been victims of violence, like school shootings, that there is hope and there is ways to cope with things. I want to inspire sick children that they don’t have to be held back with an illness. They can achieve their dreams, just like I have. And, just to inspire our community of Scioto County, that they can help work on school safety, as a whole.”
As for her run for Miss Notre Dame, “I had to compete against two of my classmates, one of them, I was very very close to and another, I was kind of acquaintances with, but I think we would have all been happy and supported each other, regardless of who got it. I’m very glad that they support me. One of the interesting things at Notre Dame, is that the teachers actually vote on the candidate, we were to prepare a speech on why we should be Miss Notre Dame, and present it to all the faculty and staff and they vote on it.”
Isaac said, “My music genre for the parade and float is Disco. We have a little idea of what to do. We are definitely working on it and we’re excited about it. We have had lots of offers from people at school and we’ve had lots of offers for materials. Everyone is kind of pitching in to help and I’m really grateful.”
Isaac while in school says, I like to keep myself busy, I do cheerleading, swimming, I am the public relations officer of our Key Club, I’m in the National Honor Society, I do Ohio Model United Nations, Mass Choir, and Pep Club.” As for her future aspirations, “I’ve considered Child Psychology and also Early Education, but I’m just not quite sure yet. I’ve been looking into Capital and Ohio Dominican in Columbus as possible schools, just because both of the campuses look very nice and I like the location. I have three younger brothers, it makes me more responsible. They are all in different age ranges, my brother Bryce is 14, Jackson is eight and my brother Asher is seven months.
Isaac was asked about how she felt about the women in our country stepping up on the way things are and she gave an outstanding thought, “I think it’s great that as a society we’ve begun to realize where we fall short, but being aware of that, is the first step toward progress. Overall, I think it’s really good that we are progressing and working toward equality between the sexes. I think the wonderful thing about River Days this year, is we’re beginning to become influencers in our community, as Lori Lowe has said to us. People are listening to us and at times it can be a little overwhelming, because there is such a spotlight put on you, but it is also amazing, because we are inspiring change and we are helping people and we’re doing community service, I think this year is definitely a turning point for River Days. I’m very excited and looking forward to River Days. It would be awesome to win and a great birthday present,((her birthday is the day after the pageant), I would would honestly be happy and thrilled with whoever wins, all of them are amazing and I love all the candidates.”
Miss Notre Dame displays such kindness and yet has so many great thoughts and ideas. She is one of the toughest competitors, along with the many other strong girls, who will make this year, one of the best years ever, better get your tickets for the pageant. Good Luck Miss Notre Dame!
Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext. 1928