Friday, April 18, 2014

Oak Park Elementary students reach across country to meet with Rep. Lewis

Third grade students at Oak Park Music Conservatory in the Crawford Cluster had a rare opportunity to interview one of their heroes: Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), via internet teleconference.
Rep. Lewis

The students had been studying his life as a civil rights pioneer, lunch counter sit-in protestor, and the last living speaker from the 1963 March on Washington. His exemplary life — beginning with his childhood in the Jim Crow South and the many things he did as a positive change agent in a climate of oppression and staggering inequities — is being documented in a series of comic book graphic novels beginning with March: Book 1 which the students read in Mick Rabin’s classroom.

After examining Lewis’s life in the context of bravery, Rabin reached out to Congressman Lewis’s office in Washington, DC and arranged a Skype interview date during a school day.

The students, Rabin, and Principal Villery were thrilled to finally meet their hero (minutes after he voted on the floor of Congress). They shared some poems, asked some questions, and interacted with a person whose entire life truly exemplifies the meaning of bravery, sacrifice, empathy, and advocacy.
Lewis’s advice to the students: “Don’t be afraid to make a bit of trouble. . .the good kind of trouble.”