Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Passing It Forward


leg•a•cy [leg-uh-see]: anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor: the legacy of ancient Rome


Ms. Ryane?

"Yes, Krystal?"

My little sister wants to be in Shakespeare Club...'cause she saw us in 'Macbeth' and now she wants to do it.

"Wow, how old is your sister?"

She's four.

Meaning Krystal's sister was three when she saw The Shakespeare Club perform "Macbeth."

When I started this program, the kids were terrified of other kids! seeing them perform. They made me promise they wouldn't have to do it in front of their peers.

No, no, Ms. Ryane! My cousin wants to come and you have to say no!

That sentiment lasted until they'd discovered their greatness by the end of a ragged rendition of a play. Those first kids became the first stars because their principal told them so, their parents beamed, and the kids were lit up by their empowerment.

By Year Two, a few kids were permitted to come and by Year Three, the whole school came, and it has continued year after year. The audition list grew longer as more and more children wanted to drink from that fountain of power.

It is the legacy itself that made new kids arrive each year ready, trusting and focused. It was no accident that performances became riskier and more courageous as each cast discovered that, far from being mocked by fellow students, they were admired.

Little kids reached their small palms to touch the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade actors who strutted across a public school campus.

This is legacy. This is money in the bank and it only comes after patient prodding. Legacy, by definition, takes time, but once it shows up, it grows wild like mint in a garden.


CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
Dear Lysander,

I shall thy love you. You are my great man with an awsome voice. You thy shall be a king of me soon. I love you, so I shall I follow you while you lick this candy stick. You will be my boyfriend for a lifetime.

Love,
with your life,
Hermia

P.S. I also brang you Skittles.
—Vincent, 5th grade

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