T1l1 Students Reach to Children Impacted by Fires in Colorado

Teach One to Lead One impacts the lives of students, teaching them to be leaders and to do the right thing regardless of their situation. That was evidenced recently at Tarver Elementary School in Thornton, Colorado. Last November, a fire damaged three homes near the school. 

One was completely destroyed. T1L1 mentors joined the school and helped the families impacted by the fires by donating gift cards to them. This act of kindness and compassion was not lost on the students.

The Marshall Fire

At the end of December, another fire, known as the Marshall Fire, raged through Boulder County, impacting three cities. It was the largest fire in Colorado history. It destroyed 1,000 homes and displaced tens of thousands of residents. When a book drive was organized to replace the home libraries of students who had lost

their possessions, T1L1 stepped up again. The fourth grade students at Tarver Elementary who were part of the T1L1 program led  a  book  drive  to  give these students new or gen-tly used books. The Tarver fourth graders held a con-test  to  see  which  grade could  bring  in  the  most books, created videos and posters to help promote the event, made book collection bags  for  each  classroom and  gathered  the  books each day. 

5,000+ books 

In the end, Tarver Elementary donated over 5,000 books for the students affected by the fires. One of the mentors donated a moving truck to transport all of the books to a central distribution site. The T1L1 students helped box the books and load them on the truck.

Coming full circle at graduation 

When it came time for the Tarver fourth graders to go through T1L1 graduation, their act of kindness came full circle. Local author and T1L1 mentor, Hilary Whiton, shared how their serv-ice project was a blessing to many students in her community. Hilary lives in Louisville, Colorado, one of the commu-nities destroyed by the fire. She also shared from her book, The Poopicorn, and told the students she had used all ten of the Universal Principles in writing the book. 

Teach One to Lead One mentors are changing the lives of students for the better. Our spring programs are wrapping up and we are hearing from students and teachers. Just what are they saying? Here is a sampling of their comments.


“For a long time, I had a traumatic childhood and I thought it was all my fault. Life had no purpose… Teach One to Lead One reminds me that we all have a purpose!” -Student in AZ 

“In the past I almost always avoided personal interaction. People wouldn’t recognize the person I was. After being in this program, this has taught me (how) to make friends …being with people is different than online relationships or playing games.” -Student in AZ 

“There is really no point to anger. I found peace earlier this year by using these techniques that helps those who go through disappointments. Anger places us into a place of no purpose. Playing games often made me upset. Side effects keep you from showing emotions and lack of tones in normal human interactions. Coming to T1L1 brings excitement and adds life to your day!” -Student in AZ “(The mentors) constantly talk about the Universal Principles. The connections that you made are priceless!” -Teacher in CO 

“Thank you for your passion and dedication. You make a difference in this crazy world & we are so lucky to have you in our school.” -Teacher in CO 

“Teach One to Lead One helped me build my self-esteem. This will help me with my confidence.” -Student in CO 

“We are so grateful for the T1L1 mentors! The work that they have done with our students have inspired many of our students to be better people, better students, and better leaders!” -Teacher in WA 

“Coming back to school in 2021 was rough for the students. Even though they were excited to return, they were all navigating per-sonal challenges that made re-entry difficult. The consistent en-thusiasm and love that our mentors brought each week really helped the students with their emotional and mental health. The universal principles they taught made a huge impact on the way we learned to function as a classroom.” -Teacher in WA 

“We had a blast with our T1L1 mentors this year! The most common comment I would get every Wednesday morning was, “Yeah! We have Teach One to Lead One today!” … They often reference their lessons and character traits to many things throughout the week. The mentors helped to create a trusting community within our classroom, where students could be honest about their experiences while also having fun!” -Teacher in WA 

“Thank you so much for the positive impact. I will miss you so much! I had a blast!!! I had tears when I got home, I will never forget the fun I had.” -Student in WA 

“The Universal Principles will stick with me my whole life. I’m glad you were there to teach me them. You made me happy every Friday you came.” -Student in WA

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