As counselor Jena Jones and the leadership team at Terrell Elementary explored new ways to bring students, staff and the community together, she was planning activities for the Great Kindness Challenge Week and discovered the idea of a dress up day where everyone wears a tie to school. Jones thought that could be the perfect opportunity to get some positive male role models into the school and to introduce students to wearing a necktie. Having that extra little positive interaction and hearing how sharp they look, can really start a student’s day off right. And that’s how the first Terrell Elementary "Kindness TIES Us Together" day got its start.
“I have played around with the idea of having tie Tuesday or a tie club for a while. I thought it could expose students to business or dress attire that we don't always see people wearing too often anymore,” Jones said.
When she shared the idea of Tie Day with people on campus and in the community, Jones said she was overwhelmed with the positive responses. More men than they ever imagined volunteered to be a part of the special day. And, then the ties donations began coming in.
“We had so many people donate ties. Two teachers sent me their late fathers' ties. Our former Denison ISD superintendent Dr. Henry Scott donated some of his ties. First United Bank and Johnson-Moore Funeral Home donated several, and the family of long-time Terrell Volunteer Fred Smith, donated $100 for us to purchase ties. Everyone's generosity just made this Tie Day idea feel right,” Jones said.
As the much anticipated 7:45am Friday morning Tie Day event arrived, Terrell Elementary welcomed nearly 30 men who joined forces at the north end of campus to welcome every student and tie a necktie on them. The group of men included bankers, educators, businessmen, and even high school senior boys, that all helped the vision become reality. Many of the men walked away from the morning event stating they were moved by how blessed they felt being a part of something so special.
“We don't have many men who work at our campus, and some students don't a positive male figure in their life. The idea of our first Tie Day felt like something our students needed, but we just never got them going. It looks like this is the start of something we will continue for years to come,” Jones said.
Men of a variety of ages and cultural backgrounds from the Denison community came together for the Terrell Elementary “Kindness TIES Us Together” Tie Day.
Terrell students all sported ties of different colors and patterns including fabrics with American flags, Santa Claus, and many other themed designs.
Students of all ages wore neckties of all colors and styles on Tie Day. Terrell dad Robert Petty works on getting the knot just right on a young Terrell Texan.
Terrell Elementary Tie Day included some Denison High School boys who showed up to be a part of the event and help tie ties on students throughout the morning.
First United Bank vice-president Aaron Quarles arrived early to help tie ties on Terrell Texans. “This was a very special event for these students. I’m truly blessed to be a part of seeing the smiles on all the faces,” Quarles said.
Students had the opportunity to have a tie tied on them that they could wear for the day and even take home with them. Kyle Dungan from Johnson-Moore Funeral Home volunteered his morning to see that Terrell Elementary’s Tie Day was a success.