Learning from the Examples of Great Americans
Reflections on Building Strong Children Through Learning from the Examples of Great Americans
Dear Saint James Family,
The nineteenth century American leader, orator, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass was driven by a purpose to make an impact for the good of others. He is known for doing many good things and he was guided by his insight that "it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
Every February in the United States, we celebrate Black History Month. At Saint James, we keep our focus on the wisdom of Frederick Douglass and his commitment to building strong children. Douglass was an African American man who began his life in enslavement and rose to become one of the most impactful leaders in American history. In a variety of ways this month, Saint James students have had opportunities to learn about and be reminded of the contributions of many black Americans who have made a lasting positive difference in our state and nation. Many of these outstanding American men and women--like Frederick Douglass--have been pioneers for making America become better, stronger, and closer to the ideals upon which our nation was founded. Children at Saint James have celebrated Black History Month through sharing quotes and stories of African Americans and engaging in learning experiences and activities that involve art, history, literature, music, science, and other areas. We have all learned more about people of extraordinary character and talent such as Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. DuBois, George Washington Carver, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Ralph Ellison, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, and others. These men and women—like many other gifted and courageous Americans—have inspired us, touched our hearts, and led the way as our nation has worked toward living into the promise of freedom that is the defining feature of our national identity.
Also during February, our 8th grade class continued the tradition of visiting our nation's capital. While in Washington, D.C., we saw and learned about sights of historical significance and places and people who define our national government and Constitution still today. In D.C., we connected with Black History Month as we visited the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and stopped to reflect on the legacy of Rosa Parks at her statue in the U.S. Capitol.
At Saint James, we know the meaning of what Frederick Douglass has taught us: "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." We are all working together day-by-day to build up children who are strong and prepared for life. We do this in a community that focuses on building character, modeling commitment, learning in community, and developing courage. With steadfast purpose, we come together to guide each boy and each girl within our school family to do great things for the good of others—just as so many great Americans we celebrate this month have done!
We are Saint James School! We are Trojans, 24/7!
Dr. Larry McLemore
Head of School