LOGAN – The Kiwanis Club of Logan annually recognizes 5th grade students throughout Cache Valley who are good academically, are problem solvers and have a positive value set. The service club recognizes students in 35 different schools throughout the area every year with what is referred to as the Hope of America Award.
Preston Parker, current president of the Kiwanis Club of Logan, recently realized that numerous siblings from the same family have been recognized with the award over the last several years. Jenna, Alyssa, Tanner and Jaxon Fellows have all been recognized by their teachers for their dedication in the classroom and displaying leadership qualities at Thomas Edison Charter School-North.
“I went back to the Kiwanis Club and asked, ‘Do we know of this ever happening?‘ There are some members (of the club) who have been members for more than 60 years,” Parker explained. “From the beginning of the Hope of America Award, they had no recollection of an entire family, all of the siblings receiving the award.
“This was a really unique situation having all four in the family receive it. It’s not something you can plan for, prepare for, or campaign for. You’re chosen and recognized based on the criteria given to the school, they choose the individuals.”
Jenna, now 18, was the first of the siblings to receive the award. She was aware of the award, but didn’t know it was coming her way.
“I think we were all just taught to work our hardest by our parents,” said Jenna. “I don’t think we were trying to be outstanding, but just do our best. I guess the teachers recognized that, that they were trying their hardest and they’re being the best that they can be.”
Her 5th grade teacher was Kristin Skinner. But the younger three siblings all had the same teacher: Dirk Anderson.
“I felt a little bit of pressure because there’s kind of this sibling rivalry, gotta measure up,” 15-year-old Alyssa recalled about the time she was in 5th grade. “I was hoping to be as good as my older sister. But I didn’t know I’d get it.”
Even though the older sisters got the award, 13-year old Tanner didn’t feel the pressure to get the same recognition.
“It’s about being a leader. You shouldn’t be trying to get this,” he said. “It’s just being a leader and trying your best. If you do your best that’s the thing.”
With one more member of the family in 5th grade, Kristin Fellows didn’t want any undue pressure for her youngest son to also receive the award.
“I feel like these kids pressure themselves way more than we do as parents,” Kristin explained.
“We’ve never said you have to get straight A’s or anything else,” said Michael Fellows, the children’s father. “I was a little bit lazy academically when I was younger, I won’t lie. I’ve always said, ‘I don’t care if you get straight A’s, but you’ve got to do your very best. If I can see that, I’m perfectly happy with that.'”
But with three of the four children already having won the award, it was a special moment when 10-year old Jaxon completed the sweep this past year.
“It was really exciting,” Jaxon exclaimed with a broad grin on his face. “It really made me really happy, that our whole family had now got it.”
“I have to give a lot of credit to the Thomas Edison teachers,” Kristin stated emphatically.
“Absolutely,” echoed the entire Fellows family.
“Those teachers go above and beyond for the sake of the kids and they are always keeping things positive.”
Parker said every school hands out the awards differently, some give them away at an end-of-year assembly, others do it in the classroom. A member of the Kiwanis Club is always on hand to announce the award and recognize the student. Since the recognition, Jenna has found ways to give back to the club by becoming a member its high school version: Key Club.
“I was able to work with them to do service projects,” Jenna explained. “That was fun to go beyond, to give back for what I received from them.”
AUDIO: The Fellows Family receives multiple Hope of America Awards