Using medieval style shield, sword and chain mail to encourage students to embrace chivalry, the Knights of the Guild with the Early Act First Knight program brought motivation to area schools this week.
At Harker Heights Elementary School on Tuesday, Hannah Walker and Cass Garcia introduced students to the Rotary Club-sponsored character education program.
In the Killeen Independent School District, Harker Heights, Mountain View, Reeces Creek, West Ward and Timber Ridge are continuing the program this year. Each month through the school year, knights dressed in armor and carrying broadswords will conduct ceremonies in an ancient style, awarding medallions to students selected for demonstrating certain character traits.
Principal Carolyn Dugger told students Tuesday that character is just as important as academics. She also said the code of chivalry is not limited to gender and that knights walk around among us daily, serving one another to make the community and world better.
Garcia and Walker introduced students to pieces of knightly armor to encourage them to demonstrate loyalty, honesty and other positive traits.
The pair also demonstrated chain mail, made up of hundreds of metal rings pieced together. Like many ringlets working together, people committed to a common cause can raise each other up and stop injustice, Garcia said.
Students also learned about shields, which not only deflect enemy blows but also display a personal crest that represents a family’s heritage or beliefs.
Likewise, one’s outward behavior indicates inner beliefs and values that can lead to respect from others.
“You will have a chance to show you have what it takes to be a knight,” Garcia said, inviting students to take seriously the challenge of showing knightly character throughout the year.
Six knighting ceremonies are planned at each participating elementary school, with the first slated for Oct. 14 and 15.
Each month teachers will choose a new knight from their class based on a display of traits such as respect, honesty, tolerance and perseverance. Age-specific ranks include page, squire, knight and Order of the Black Prince.