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To a Mom who is not afraid of monsters - Still I Rise

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Lead from the Start: To a Mom who is not afraid of monsters - Still I Rise

Friday, June 06, 2008

To a Mom who is not afraid of monsters - Still I Rise

Our class will sing a version of the classic poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelo, a song performed by Ben Harper titled I'll Rise, in Tuesday's preschool "Moving On" ceremony. I love the poem and the song for so many reasons but mostly because it teaches what so many children's songs don't. Perseverance and belief in yourself in the face of adversity. Considering most of my students' background, it is probably the most important thing I could ever teach them. These are also the same reasons each year my class learns "I Believe I Can Fly" by R Kelly and "You Can Make It If You Try" and "Everybody is Star" by Sly and the Family Stone. We learn "Dance to the Music" just because it is a blast to sing with the kids.

This year this song will have a special meaning. Our friend, L. will be joining us for our "Moving On" ceremony on Tuesday. I have written about L. before, she was diagnosed with acute leukemia in October. She has come back intermittently since February but, has come back for several days this week so that she can learn our song and dance and participate in the ceremony.

It is hard to do a ceremony like this and keep it in perspective especially for the parents as my friend Vanessa of the Inside Pre-K blog has talked about. I mean, these kids have mostly just made it through one year of school but for us, this one will mean a lot more. It will honor the spirit, the strength, and the struggle of L.'s and her family especially her mother Sharone who has cared for 4 kids while her youngest struggled with leukemia, her oldest with finding himself in high school, and a daughter with diabetes, even as she has ticked off classes towards her business degree.

This is for Sharone and for L. who have struggled with a monster so fierce... but I know they will rise.

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