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October 16, 2013

Author Kevin Carroll inspires students to ‘do,’ not just ‘talk’

NORMAN — Can you really make a difference, no matter how old you are? Eighth-grader Ivy Emerson said she believed she could after listening to author Kevin Carroll and considering what inspires her.

Carroll, acclaimed author of the “Rules of the Red Rubber Ball” series and a popular motivational speaker, spoke to Whittier Middle School eighth-graders Tuesday and inspired them to embrace their spirit of play and creativity.

“I don’t talk. I do,” Carroll said before presenting Whittier with a challenge to help them maximize their potential and sustain personal growth.

Carroll’s dynamic talk presented several big ideas, facts and philosophies for students to consider:

· Keep your eyes open for opportunities.

· There are 86,400 seconds in a day for you to do something.

· Dedication, responsibility, education, attitude and motivation build dreams.

· Everyone has an idea.

· You win or lose a match before you even get there, based on preparation.

· Staying energized is key.

· Anything is possible.

· Build relationships and reach out to others.

Carroll emphasized that everyone could be a leader and everyone can do a kind act every day.

Carroll then challenged Whittier to come up with a project to make a difference in their community. If Carroll approves of the project, he said he would donate $250 to help it come to fruition.

At the end of his talk, Carroll continued to task students with another challenge: take a red rubber ball paper cutout and write down what inspires them.

Red rubber ball paper cutouts from all Norman Public Schools Carroll visits — along with cutouts filled out by University of Oklahoma student athletes — will be put on display at Carroll’s exhibition “The Art of Sport + Play,” which opens Friday at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

Laura Lemmon said Carroll’s talk gave her a chance to think about what inspires her and that she was excited to read his books.

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