The Starfish Story


Churchill Center & School is a place where challenges are transformed into victories for our children every day. We understand that the differences in how our students’ brains process information can be positive, distinguishing characteristics of their personalities.

“The Starfish Story” has long been a tradition at Churchill. It represents what we strive to do every day – to make a difference in the lives of our students.

Churchill students in front of the starfish mural
Churchill students in front of the starfish mural

Our beloved, hand-made starfish mural was created by Churchill Alumni Parent Paulette Carr.


The Starfish Story
Adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren Eiseley

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance during the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young girl, and that what she was doing was not dancing at all. The young girl was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young girl paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

“I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” said the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young girl replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, “But, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

At this, the young girl bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, she said, “I made a difference for that one.”

Churchill's Starfish Mural

This story delivers an inspiring message of hope. We strive to make the difference for our current students and future students whose lives will be forever changed by the impact of a Churchill education.

For a closer look at Churchill’s traditions and activities, check out our Student Life page.


For questions or more information about Churchill Center & School, call us at 314-997-4343 or contact us online.

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