20 John Wooden Quotes to Share with Your Child

Legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden accomplished a lot on the court—10 NCAA championships in 12 years, including an unprecedented seven in a row, and being named national coach of the year six times. For his players, though, it was what he taught them off the court that had a greater effect on their lives than what he taught them on the court. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, among others, still speak of Coach Wooden in reverent terms. Here are 20 quotes from Coach Wooden to share with your child to help inspire them to do and be their best.

  1. “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
  2. “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”
  3. “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”
  4. “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
  5. “Young people need models, not critics.”
  6. “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”
  7. “Happiness begins where selfishness ends.”
  8. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
  9. “The best competition I have is against myself to become better.”
  10. “Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”
  11. “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
  12. “Whatever you do, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.”
  13. “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
  14. “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
  15. “Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone.”
  16. “If you’re true to yourself, you’re going to be true to everyone else.”
  17. “You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.”
  18. “Make each day your masterpiece.”
  19. “Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them, and your foes won’t believe them.”
  20. “The most important thing in the world is family and love.”

Consider picking a quote or two to discuss with your family this week, and really dig into what Coach Wooden is saying about character, success, and life.


What is Illinois PTA University?

The Illinois PTA University is an incentive program to encourage leadership development. The program is divided into three levels—Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, and Doctorate Degree. Each level recognizes the accomplishment of PTA members who have completed its requirements. Those requirements include attendance at a variety of workshops, training courses, and PTA events.  Any PTA member may participate in the program, and there is no time limit for completing the requirements to earn a degree.

Transcripts (applications) are available at all courses and events, and any state board member, district director, or course trainer may sign. Completed transcripts should be sent to your District or Region Director or to the Illinois PTA Leadership Development Director. Doctoral recipients are recognized at the Illinois PTA Convention.

To earn the Bachelor’s Degree, participants must complete five requirements:

  • Take PTA 101: Your Road to Success (required for all officers)
  • Take Money Matters 101 (required for all treasurers)
  • Attend a Council, District, or Region meeting or workshop (this can be a training event where you take the above courses)
  • Attend an Illinois PTA state conference or workshop (not at the Illinois PTA Convention), such as an Illinois PTA Value of PTA event.
  • Attend the Illinois PTA Convention

To earn the Master’s Degree, participants must earn their Bachelor’s Degree and complete four out of five electives:

To earn the Doctorate Degree, participants must earn their Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees, complete the Illinois PTA Train the Trainers course, and complete a thesis project. The Train the Trainers course requires the recommendation of your District or Region Director or other Illinois PTA state board member to attend. The thesis project requires prior approval of the Illinois PTA Leadership Development Director, and is an opportunity for the candidate to apply what they have learned from the rest of their Illinois PTA University work. Examples of thesis projects include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating an approved PTA training course
  • Creating an approved PTA program
  • Hosting a candidate’s forum
  • Organizing a Value of PTA event

Contact your Region Director, District Director, or the Illinois PTA Leadership Development Director to schedule a course or visit the Illinois PTA website events page to see what courses are coming up.

Illinois PTA Advocacy Day 2017

Today is Illinois PTA Advocacy Day. Even if you can’t join us in Springfield, you can still participate. If you have a few minutes sometime in the next few days, send an e-mail to your legislators. The text is prewritten for you, though you can edit it or add more if you would like to. Then, add your contact information and hit send.

If you have a bit more time, schedule a meeting with your legislators at their district offices. They will be in Springfield this week for the veto session, but will be back in their districts next week. If you’re not sure how to set up a meeting or how to talk to a legislator, be sure to check out our webinar from last year on How to Meet with Legislators.

Illinois PTA is advocating on three key issues this year for Advocacy Day:

  • Education Funding: The new funding formula starts Illinois on a path towards adequate and equitable funding, but without additional funding added to the formula in future years, we will continue to have the most inequitable school funding in the country.
  • Environmental Concerns: Based on our 2017 resolutions on climate change and hydraulic fracturing (fracking), we are asking legislators to support science-based regulations on carbon emissions and fracking operations to protect children’s health and the environment.
  • Justice-Involved Young Adults: Based on our report to the 2017 Illinois PTA Convention, we are asking lawmakers to consider legislation treating those ages 18 to 24 involved in the justice system differently from those 25 and older, as scientific research indicates that young adults in that age range behave much more like teenagers than adults due to brain development.

If you are unsure what to say about these topics to your legislator, check out our 2017 Hot Topics webinar or contact Illinois PTA Legislative Advocacy Director Lisa Garbaty, who can provide you with talking points and handouts to share.

Finally, don’t miss out on the opportunity to make your voice heard on important advocacy issues in the future. Find out about Illinois PTA Calls to Action by signing up for the Illinois PTA Takes Action Network.


Go on a Painted Rock Hunt

Have you heard about the painted rock craze yet? It’s a nationwide scavenger hunt meant to promote kindness and encourage art, creativity, and community spirit. From western Washington to the Florida panhandle, rock painting groups are brightening the days of strangers, one colorful rock at a time.

I was first introduced to hiding and seeking painted rocks through a Collinsville PTA member who was looking for a simple art project she could do at home with her two daughters. That’s how she discovered The Painted Rocks Project: Glen Carbon, a Facebook group that’s gaining local followers in the Glen Carbon/Edwardsville/Maryville area. With the mission of spreading “love and light,” the group of nearly 1,000 members hides painted rocks all around the area.

The idea is a simple one: Gather a few supplies (flat, paintable rocks, acrylic paint, sealer, paint brushes) and then decorate your rock, getting as creative as you like. Some folks include instructions on the bottom of their rock that let the finder know which Facebook group to post a photo to once it’s been found. Popular hiding spots include city sidewalks, park benches, playgrounds, ATMs, grocery stores and gas pumps.

What’s the appeal? Group members cite the joy of spending creative time with family and friends, giving back to the community, and spending time in nature. There’s also the appeal of a good, old-fashion treasure hunt. Families are walking streets, scouring local parks, and searching trails and playgrounds.

Intrigued with the idea, I did a quick internet search and found a rock painting group right in our own community. So the kids and I set out last Saturday afternoon in search of our first hidden treasure. I had no idea that the vibrantly painted rock we found would have such a joyful effect on us. Truth be told, I was disappointed that I wasn’t the one to find it. After all, I was the one looking high and low—scanning the sidewalk, the park benches, and the playground. Just when we were about to give up the hunt, my daughter shouted out a loud, “YES!!!” followed by a massive fist pump as she laid eyes on our first prize.

Sometimes the world gives us a small sign of encouragement, right when we need it the most. That’s the idea behind the rock painting movement. It’s about sparking joy and happiness in people’s everyday lives. It certainly felt that way when my daughter found our first treasure. The excitement and look of joy on her face meant as much to me as it did to her.

How to Paint Your Own Rocks

There are lots of “How-To” tutorials on YouTube, but the basic process is:

  1. Clean: Paint won’t stick to dirty rocks, so wash your rocks in warm water and soap. You might want to scrub it with an old toothbrush to make sure all debris is removed.
  2. Sand: If there are any light bumps or grit on your rock, you can smooth it using sandpaper.
  3. Paint: Use acrylic paint for best results. Adding a white base layer before painting the color you want makes it pop. Let each layer of paint dry before applying the next layer.
  4. Detail: Adding text with markers is easier than painting words. Through trial and error, I have found that Posca Markers work best for rock painting.
  5. Seal: This is one of the most important steps to rock painting. All that creative work that you put into your stone would be wasted with any type of moisture. You want a seal that won’t curdle if the stones are subject to weather, such as Krylon Clear Coat Spray. Two thin coats works best.
  6. Dry

Ideas on Where to Leave Rocks

  • Playgrounds
  • Nook of a tree
  • Farmer’s market
  • Veteran hospital
  • Nursing home
  • On top of a neighbor’s mailbox
  • Motivation rocks would complement any fitness center parking lot, YMCA or locker room
  • One person left a hot dog rock painting on a grill at a sports store
  • A corn cob rock was found in the frozen section of the grocery store

Where NOT to Leave Rocks

  • Lawns or anywhere that a mower can run over it
  • Leaving rocks in state or national parks is not allowed
  • Anywhere that a person has to climb to get the rock
  • In the middle of pathways where people can trip on them
  • Businesses that don’t give you permission before “hiding” them there
  • Anyone’s private property

Find Where Community Rocks

Many who hide rocks like to post clues on Facebook, some in hopes that finders will share their joy of their successful hunt. To find clues and share success, look up these rock groups or search for groups in your area, as new ones are popping up every week.

Chicago area:





Southern Illinois area:

Don’t be surprised if you become a little addicted to finding and painting rocks.

Have you joined a rock group? We’d love to hear about your adventures!