I created the “Yes I Can” assembly program because I’m betting some kids suffer from self-doubt issues as I did growing up. I came from a broken home – my parents divorced when I was very young. As a result, childhood was confusing for me. My mom and step-dad did the best they could, but at school, it was through the encouragement of some truly wonderful and inspirational teachers that I really blossomed.
The “Yes I Can” school assembly program not only reinforces the critical core concepts of character so important in child development, but it also focuses on perseverance… trying your best, no matter what happens because, let’s face it, all of us run into obstacles. There are problems we are going to encounter as kids and how we respond to those problems will help define the kind of person we grow into as adults.
To put it another way, I wanted this assembly show to go beyond what most character education programs cover. My character education program has a strong focus on respecting others and treating people how you want to be treated. Along the way, there are also powerful stories and magic, such as a magical telling of “Mr. Tuck And The 13 Heroes” with a surprise ending, and the explanation behind the acronym of ‘S.T.A.R.,’ and how any student can be a ‘S.T.A.R.’ by simply remembering a few basic concepts.
I decided I wanted to go beyond the “6 Pillars Of Character.” Although I do cover the pillars of character, I wanted to EMPOWER students with this program. My goal is to let them know that they can make whatever they want out of life, but they have to put in the effort!
As with my other programs, I’ve got different versions of “Yes I Can,” one for primary grades (typically grades K-2) and one for intermediate grade levels (typically grades 3-5). Personally, I feel that having different versions of the assembly is the BEST way to ensure the kids get a show ‘on their level,’ without the younger kids getting lost and without the older kids rolling their eyes with that, “Oh, I can’t believe I have to sit through this” expressions on their faces!
To really drive this point home, I’ll tell you that I’ve even included a segment for the older kids that reveals how they can INSTANTLY raise their test scores! (By the way, teachers LOVE this!)
I know it sounds like heavy duty stuff, but the “Yes I Can” assembly program is fun – there’s goofy magic, not one but TWO crazy contests (one that teaches trust and involving two students and a teacher and a second contest that perfectly illustrates the dangers of judging people by their appearance), and an inspirational story about an elephant in a circus which sums up the entire program and serves as an emotional crescendo! The kids will be riveted – guaranteed!
Key Learning Points:
Call me at (716) 940-8963 (that’s my cell phone) or fill out the Contact Form above to get “Yes I Can” assembly information emailed to you instantly!
“Mr. Johnson was able to perfectly connect important self-esteem lessons with wonderful magic. Students and staff were spell-bound, focused, and energized while learning lessons. Cris was able to keep the audience engaged and excited throughout the 45-50 minute [Character Education Assembly] program. He was upbeat, enthusiastic and did a wonderful job complimenting our ‘No Put-Downs, Do Build-Ups’ program and school theme ‘Character Counts’!”
Dr. Shirlee Paveljack, Principal
Williamsville, New York
“…having fun with magic can also be educational with an important message. The message is still being talked about in the classroom!”
Cherish Mignoli, Teacher
Northern Chautauqua Catholic School
“The program was very motivating! Cris catches the students’ attention and uses excellent group control. They loved it!”
Kathy Carlson, Principal
Sinclairville, New York
“Cris really got our students excited and interested. His presentation was wonderful! I like how he presented magic with a message! Outstanding!”
Donna Gawlik, Teacher
St.Vincent DePaul School
“The ‘Yes I Can’ Program was awesome! Children loved the magic and being part of the audience. Cris’ program reiterated the message we strive to teach all of our students. His message went VERY well with the Catholic Schools week theme: Character, Compassion, Values. Cris’ message is clearly stated and his presentation to get the message to the children was excellent!
Cynthia Jacobs, Principal
St. John the Baptist School
Kenmore, New York
“Thank you for coming to Chittenango Middle School again this year! Our 5th graders truly enjoyed your assembly! Your commitment to helping students understand the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, through the use of magic tricks, makes a strong impact. Your show is entertaining, educational and fun! Thank you for what you do.”
Chris Chandler, School Counselor
Chittenango Middle School
“Cris was very motivational and entertaining. He was able to get the important messages out to the students. They loved it!”
Roberta Traks, Principal
Cassadaga Elementary School
Sinclairville, New York
“Our school was fortunate enough to have Cris Johnson inform and entertain our whole school last week. We had never had an assembly pertaining to this subject. But I can assure you that you will not be disappointed in this presentation. He presented two shows; one to the primary and one to the intermediate grades. In doing this, he could adjust the show to the age levels. He captivated all of the children’s attention throughout the entire show and truly knew how to control his audience throughout his magic acts. His greatest compliment came from a child in my room who commented as we were leaving the gym by saying, “I loved that guy!”
The students are still using his advice… Any school would be lucky to have Cris come and present his assembly!”
Bonnie Montana, Second Grade Teacher
E.R. Hughes School
New Hartford, New York
Thank you so much for presenting your wonderful program today! The students loved having you and are still talking about it!Here are some of the comments that I received: “The students were very engaged! They understood the message that you have to break out of your chains and believe in yourself. Yes WE can!” (Third Grade Teacher)”The kids really enjoyed having an opportunity to participate in the assembly. They were still trying to figure out the magic later on- their creative juices were flowing!” (Fourth Grade Teacher)”It was so cool- we were learning while doing magic!” (Second Grade Student)
– Amy Switkes, Vice Principal
Barley Sheaf Elementary School
“Thank you so much for coming to Dodge today. The show was great! The students not only enjoyed the magic, but they also learned something. When we got back to the classroom, they were all able to say what STAR meant, and had many other facts to share. You have great control of your audience. They are involved and focused. I love how quietly they walk back to the classroom. It is amazing that they are silent all the way to their room. 🙂
Also, thank you for all have the e-mails. It ensures that everything runs smoothly. I really appreciate that. We will see you again.”
Laurie Colucci, School Counselor
East Amherst, NY
“Outstanding! The message was great! The kids were really attentive! He really related our ‘kindness’ theme to his show. Excellent!”
Nicole Goyette, Teacher
Oak Orchard Elementary
Medina, New York
“Students really enjoyed the magic part of the show. When asking about specific favorite parts, they were able to tell me the magic trick that was performed but then also the lesson that went along with it. For example, we talked about the spider and the silkworm magic trick. The loved the trick but in the end they learned about important it is to be friends and work together. I think it had a positive impact on the students. Cris did a great job of showing the kids situations from a different perspective using visuals that they could relate to. I do very much believe there was a positive impact. After the assembly, the students talked about learning respect, being truthful, and never giving up!”
Ross Elementary School
“Here are 2 emails I received from teachers:
‘I thought the assembly was great and interactive. The kids seemed to enjoy it and…everyone seemed engaged.’
‘I thought that it was an engaging assembly for them and my kids especially enjoyed the magic part of it. I think that the message he was portraying was great for this age group and the way he presented it was easily understood by the kids.’
Municipal Drug Alliance
“Fabulous job by Cris Johnson, as always! It’s the third different themed show I’ve been privy to and again, AMAZING! Students are always engaged and excited for the next magic trick that may arise. Cris, you are funny, charismatic and have a passion for what you do. Thank you for making our school understand Character Education in a fun, engaging way.”
Mrs. Jennifer Cooper, Acting Assistant Principal
Fred W Hill School
“Thanks again for coming to Hill and Plain. It is so hard to find Character Education programs for our young students but your shows NEVER disappoint. Several teachers remarked how good you are and I love your messages: The message about not judging others from what they see but how you got to get to know the student and know them from the inside. Also the last magic trick about including others…that visual was so ON key. Having the white little block left out was so evident to the students and they comprehended well. I also loved the magic trick where the strong kid can’t pick up the box…it was perfect for that particular kid because he’s pretty popular and having him not be the “one” that succeeds was perfect.”
Heliett Sanchez, School Counselor
Hill And Plain School
New Milford, CT
“Hi Cris. I pushed into some of the classes after your performance and the children really enjoyed the show. Having students and teachers participate is always exciting. I loved the big trick with the puzzle picture frame and the children really understood the message it delivers. We always enjoy having you and appreciate your great messages and professionalism.”
Cindy Misrock, School Social Worker
Bayview Avenue School