Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Black History Presentation Sparks a Dream

My son’s school had a Black History Fair to cap off a month of special projects. Each student was assigned a famous African American. My son’s subject was Bill Pickett, who I learned was a rodeo star in the early 20th century, and a member of the Rodeo Hall of Fame.

The kids studied their subject and then created displays for the fair. The highlight of the program was to be a video presentation where each child speaks about their assigned African American hero.

Our expectations were pretty low. Kai can go on endlessly when talking about the numbers of the NASCAR racers or the square miles of countries or whatever else he is into at the time. But, ask him to speak about any other topic and you are lucky to get more than a word or two, usually mumbled incoherently.

And so, when my wife reported that Kai gave an awesome presentation, we were both stunned. She said that he spoke loudly, clearly and without hesitation as he described the accomplishments of Mr. Pickett. Even better, he didn’t say the words in a boring monotone as if he were reading his material. Instead he spoke freely and with enthusiasm, giving his presentation more flair.

He even surprised another mother who sees Kai quite often at his ice skating class. There, Kai rarely responds to her no matter how much she tries to talk with him. So, it’s no wonder that she was shocked that he could actually speak so well.

Okay, now I know that this wasn’t on the level of Martin Luther King delivering his “I have a dream” speech. But, to us, it was momentous in a small way.

It gives me hope that one day he will be able to just as articulately describe his day at school. That is my dream.

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