Jodi Mintz Ginsberg is a member of the Montreal 09 Wexner Heritage Group.  She is President of Home and School Solomon Schechter Academy. Jodi is a food distributor and can be reached at 

In an effort to prevent “bullying,” I was recently in school speaking to a group of grade 2 children about acts of kindness. My seven year old daughter Samantha had also taken part in this class and it was her upcoming birthday. She was very set on having a small birthday party with a few friends sleeping over at our house. As Home and School President of a school with 750 children, I felt that I had to set a good example and rather than invite a select few to Sam’s birthday, we should include all of the girls in her class. Unfortunately, this meant changing the theme of the party as well as the venue because I was simply unable to accommodate 13 girls for a sleepover at my home. I talked to Samantha explaining to her the situation with the hopes that she would not feel too disappointed changing the plans. When I finished talking, she looked at me and said, “Mom, I think we SHOULD invite all of the girls so no one feels bad. Even if I didn’t want to at the beginning, I think it’s a good idea now. You always tell me that we need to treat other people with kindness and respect to get it back. I won’t always agree with you, but I will still listen to what you have to say and I think it’s a good idea.” I kissed her on her forehead and could not help but feel pride and warmth in my heart. It took a simple 8 year olds birthday party to show me that no matter what the age, life lessons can still be reinforced.

Samantha had her birthday party and all of the girls in the class did participate. Instead of having a sleeping over, we all made friendship bracelets that we both wear every day. They remind Samantha about the kindness she showed to her classmates and they remind me of what it takes to be a true leader.