What an unforgettable day at Next Generation Academy (NGA)! Haelee and I had the most heartwarming storytelling experience, witnessing NGA's incredible mission in action. Their dedication to nurturing a love for reading and writing in young learners and exposing them to diverse perspectives through literature is truly commendable.
Our storytelling journey reached new heights with the enthusiastic participation of teachers and students, as they joined us in dancing and sharing life lessons. The students amazed us with their creativity, presenting their own written stories and sharing their millionaire dreams, creating an MTV Cribs-style atmosphere with their fabulous imaginary houses. Haelee's popularity exceeded mine as she received invitations to visit everyone's homes, which playfully stirred a hint of jealousy on my part. Their passion for reading and storytelling was infectious, reflecting the nurturing environment at NGA.
But the true magic of storytelling lies in its profound ability to empower children, igniting their imagination and allowing them to see themselves as the heroes of the stories that they read, inspiring them to aim for greatness - just like the Muppet Babies used to suggest! Our unforgettable visit to NGA reaffirmed this belief. One captivating moment in particular occurred when we asked the 1st- grade class to identify characters from our books in the room. Their response filled our hearts with joy as they not only recognized themselves but also their classmates, siblings, and their teacher, Ms. Daniela Alcivar-Castillo. Ms. Castillo who happens to be a fellow alumn of North Carolina A&T State University is an expert in graphic arts and visual design. Haelee and I were left in awe of the compelling stories that the students shared. We were tempted to take their projects home and frame them, but we knew those cherished creations belonged with their parents, where they can be proudly displayed, constantly encouraging the children to dream and explore their limitless potential.
A heartfelt shoutout to Katrina Williamson, ELA Instructional Coach at NGA, for meticulously organizing this remarkable experience, and to Sherricka Carpenter-Stanley, Owner/Founder of Next Chapter Bookstore, for making it all possible.
On a separate note, juggling the never-ending to-do list between my mom, Vanessa, and Haelee has been quite the adventure. I stopped by moms house to surprise her by assembling her new computer desk while she was at work following my visit to NGA. My hope was to stay ahead of the ever growing list of tasks that they put on my plate to do. However, it seems there's always something new because now she wants me to carry the desk upstairs when I'm back in town.