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Monday, November 24, 2008

Meet the Newest Dream Keepers!

Every week we welcome new Dream Keepers. Our group has grown enough that we've split into two groups—a high school group that meets from 4-5 and a middle school group that meets from 5-6. These two I AM poems come from two of the younger members of our groups. Both children invented words to talk about themselves. My favorites: talk-full and feelative! 

Enjoy!

I AM
by Tytiana Maire Cloyd, age 9

I am wise on the outside.
I am dark chocolate.
I am skinny like a pencil.
I am long curly hair.

I am heart-full.
I am talk-full.
I am grateful.
I am delightful.

I am an aunt.
I am a cousin.
I am a sister.
I am a niece.

I am Tytiana.

I AM
by Perry Green, age 11

I am caramel-skinned.
I am short.
I am brown-eyed.
I am big-footed.

I am very smart.
I am personal.
I am feelative.
I am curious.

I am an uncle.
I am a nephew.
I am a son.
I am a cousin.

I am Perry.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dear Mr. President-elect

Last winter, the Dream Keepers wrote letters to President Bush—many of them inspired by Pink's song, Dear Mr. President. This November, the teens wrote letters to President-elect Obama. I have sent them to the president-elect via his new CHANGE Web site. Read about the issues that concern our teens. Then, write your own letter and submit it to the president-elect.

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations on being the first African American to be elected Head of State.

Hello, my name is Deanna Branch. I am 19 years old, and I live with my mom and two younger sisters. I am currently employed, and my mom is in nursing school. So I am the only one with a steady income. We are living from paycheck to paycheck and are struggling to pay the light bill. I even had to dip into my college fund to buy groceries.

Even though we have fallen on hard times, I will not lose hope. I will continue on to finish college, because I believe in my future. I will work hard and pray because I believe in God and I believe in you!

I believe you are the future, and I believe you lead the way towards a better economy. I support and believe in you because you’ve been where I’m from and you care for the single moms struggling to make ends meet and the starving college students reaching towards a brighter future.

Sincerely,
Your sister through Christ,
Deanna Branch

PS I voted for you and I volunteered on your campaign. I even write an essay about you for a MLK scholarship application.

***

To President-elect Barack Obama,

My name is Ruthie Matthews II, and I am a fifteen-year-old resident in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Currently I attend Rufus King High School as a junior and am enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program there. Since it is my junior year at high school, my search for colleges to attend has intensified because I am going to send out applications soon. As I search and research colleges, I find that tuition has increased dramatically over all due to the increase of prices and that the amount of available scholarships have decreased. This is a major concern to me because I want to be able to go to college and be able to afford to go. I hope to become a biomedical engineer someday.

I know you already have a lot to consider and contemplate on, and, well, I am going to add one more think to your pile. President Obama, would you please consider adding more funding to scholastic scholarships, loans, grants, and programs so that average working citizens like myself can afford to get the highest education that America has to offer? Education is greatly important to me because it is needed not more than ever and without a proper education my generation will not be qualified to do work as doctors, engineers, lawyers, architects, and the like. Without education, we will not be able to advance in science, technology, and even mentally. And if America’s youth cannot compete with the rest of the world, then I think that American will not be able to compete with the rest of the world. People say that the youth are the future, and I should hope that the people want their children—the youth—to be able to do just as well if not better than the generation before them and in order to do that, we, the youth, need to be able to get a higher education. That is pretty much all I wanted to ask you to consider.

Thank you so much for your time and effort. I believe that you will do a fantastic job as America’s president. We are all praying and rooting for you.

Thanks again,
America’s citizen,
Ruthie Matthews II

***

To the President-elect

Dear Senator Obama,

I congratulate you on your future role of president. My heart swells with pride at how you bear witness to the world of a testament of a people.

Seeing you was a triumph, not just for us of the African American race, but a triumph for all people of different ethnicities and backgrounds. While all this is a given, I am a fourteen year old African American who is interested in the reform of our country.

Education is failing; art programs are virtually non-existent. We have been blessed with talent, but we lack a work ethic known to generations before.

I understand that I am asking you to resurrect a people.

Our country has much to offer, but before we invest in others, we must first invest in ourselves. Jobs must be created here. Education must prosper here. Work ethics must prosper here.

Sincerely,

Charrelynne Matthews

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Hopes and New Poems

When we met Monday night, the young people were giddy with excitement about the upcoming election. They were also worried. Would Obama be elected only to be assassinated? Could change really happen? I am looking forward to hearing what the young people have to say next Monday, now that history has been made. I plan to share with them the following quotes, sent to me by friends.

A statement that shows how far we've come: 
The first 26 Presidents could have OWNED the 44th. 

And a poem of hope:
Rosa sat so Martin could march.
Martin marched so Barack could run.
Barack ran so our children can fly.

And now onto this week's poems. 

I AM
by Lorzerrick Sheridan-King

I am cool.
I am hot chocolate.
I am think.
I am peaceful.
I am playful.
I am entertaining.
I am good.
I am good-hearted.
I am talented.
I am a child of God.
I am a boy that has more than ten brothers.


I AM
by Isaiah Dixon, age 11

I am bald-headed
 tall for my age
    chocolate caramel
 brown-eyed.

I am loving
 obedient
 peaceful
 talented.

I am a son
 a brother
 an uncle
 a cousin.

I am Isaiah.


I AM
by Terena Dixon

I am black
 beautiful
 thick
 tall.

I am intelligent
 funny
 goofy
 talkative.

I am a child
 young adult
 daughter
 female.

I am Terena.


Peace Poem
by Terena Dixon

Instead of hate, you could love.
Peace is when you
keep cool.
Peace is when there is
no violence.
Peace is when we
get along.