Communications Department
14705 Woodforest Blvd., Houston, TX 77015

February 3, 2012
CONTACT: Jonathan Frey
(832) 386-1231


        Tuesday, January 31, 2012 marked a special day for numerous students and teachers at North Shore Elementary. The school participated in its first EarlyAct FirstKnight™ ceremony where students were "knighted" for displaying tolerance, one of ten knightly “codes” that is taught through this year long program.

        Sponsored by Rotary Clubs, EarlyAct FirstKnight (EAFK) is a program for elementary and middle schools that teaches and encourages character building and service. This is a school-wide program, so all students and faculty are touched by the concepts of the curriculum. While all students will go through the same ten codes each year, the curriculum changes with each grade level. This allows Kindergarten through 5th graders to experience the training while keeping it exciting and new. It also allows more opportunities to be knighted.

        At North Shore Elementary’s first Campus Knighting Ceremony, 41 boys and girls were knighted in front of their peers. The students had no idea they were going to be knighted until their teacher called their name from a podium and gave examples of their tolerant behavior for the month of January. In a moment of surprise to the recipients, parents appeared from a hiding place off stage to participate in the knighting ceremony. It was difficult to determine who was more proud, the student or the parent. Students weren’t the only ones to be honored either. One teacher and one paraprofessional knelt before the knight to be dubbed worthy of knighthood.

        "Teachers, parents, and students were all enthusiastic. It’s really something they’re looking forward to now. The kids are really working to get knighted next time," said Esmeralda Perez, principal North Shore Elementary. Mrs. Perez also noted an improvement in behavior on campus. "They started doing the [Rotary Club] four way test. When they get in trouble, we can ask them, 'Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it bring GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?'" The principal continued, "We also ask the students if they are conveying knightly behavior. When they say "no," it gives us something to work toward."

The ten codes that the school will work on throughout the year are: tolerance; responsibility; confidence; perseverance; discipline; respect; honesty; compassion; friendliness; and service. The virtue that North Shore Elementary faculty and students will be working on in February is responsibility. It should be great fun to witness the entire school focus on becoming a First Knight.

Knights await the young inductees on the intricately decorated stage.

Esmeralda Perez, Principal (L), and Jennifer Martinez, Assistant Principal (R), endow each student with a knight’s tunic.

Each new knight receives a medal.


After placing a medal around the neck of each new knight, he offers a congratulatory message that only the two can hear.

Parents were able to come on stage and be part of the celebration.

Each new knight also received a certificate. The students were knighted for showing acts of tolerance throughout January. In February students will be learning and demonstrating responsibility.