Renfro Elementary 4th grader Cody Lillard has been selected for Special Flaunt Recognition in the Kids Flaunt Essay Contest sponsored by Scholastic.
Scholastic sponsored the essay contest because “When kids learn to recognize their own unique qualities, they can become more accepting of the differences of their peers.” The goal is to help students build a sense of community and inclusion.
The theme was: “The Things That Make Me Different Make Me, Me!”
In his essay, Cody (Darrell Cody Lillard III) talks about how his disabilities make him unique and how he puts them in perspective.
As part of his special recognition, Cody’s essay and photo will be featured on the Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It website. DHIFI, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that “works to advance acceptance, understanding, tolerance and mutual respect for a person’s blatant or invisible difference.”
DHIFI Inc. “encourages people of all ages to flaunt one’s own difference and ultimately embrace and celebrate what makes us all unique.” The complete list of winners selected will be posted on the site on December 16, 2017. Cody’s essay will be published on Saturday, February 3, 2018.
The Kids Flaunt Student Contest was open to students in the fourth grade in public or accredited private schools or home schools located in California, Illinois, New Jersey, or New York. Students wrote about the personal qualities that make them unique.
Prizes will be awarded for the top winners in the contest. The student winner will receive a tablet computer, an NFL prize pack consisting of an NFL t-shirt, a Madden 2015 Xbox game, mini NFL helmet, white panel Pro Bowl football and be profiled on the Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It website.
The winning teacher will receive a classroom set of Scholastic books. One runner-up will receive a table computer and a box of NFL trading cards. Three finalists will receive one box of NFL trading cards each.
Cody Lillard is a student in Kristi Maloney’s 4th grade class. Click here to watch a student interview featuring Cody..
My Flaunt Essay by Darrell Cody Lillard III
My name is Darrell Cody Lillard and I have a pretty interesting life. I like to read, play baseball, and I am good at math. I was born with disabilities which makes me unique. The disabilities I have are called Club Feet and Arthrogryposis, and those are my visible differences. It is hard to do some things and live a normal life.
My disabilities really affect my life. Anthrogryposis means I can not bend my legs as easily, and Club Feet means my feet are curved. Walking really isn’t easy for me but I make it work. I play baseball in these conditions and it is hard. When I am at school me and my friends play a makeshift baseball game.
Some ways I have learned to flaunt my differences is by staying positive. To stay positive I think there are people with worse lives than me so I should be grateful. I had surgeries to help me. These are the things that make me different.