Our Voice: They Can Be Heroes
Sarah Fullagar delights us with yet another fantastic blog. Sarah was inspired to write this blog after witnessing the change in the children that attend her Unique Voice After School Drama Club at St Pius after having taken part in our ‘Heroes and Empowering People’ scheme of work this term.
This term at drama club, I’ve been leading the ‘Heroes and Empowering People’ scheme. Before I began this particular set of sessions I was excited about it, and not only because I got to introduce the children to the wonder that is David Bowie. They’ve been learning ‘Heroes’ for their end of term performance which, as a Bowie fan, bought me a lot of excitement- even if they’re singing the more octave appropriate x-factor version. But anyway, I digress.
When I introduced the children to the theme for this term, the first thing that sprung into the their minds were characters such as Cat Woman, Spiderman, and a slightly more retro She-rah, before our explorations moved towards members of the community who could also be considered heroes; firemen, policemen, teachers and doctors.
With each week I have worked with the children to make the heroes we looked at more personable, and as one incredibly eloquent nine year old put it;
‘Heroes can be anyone. It could be someone you look up to, or respect, or someone who has done something that was very important to you.’
And she’s absolutely right. The children took great pride in telling me about their heroes, be they Mum, Dad, their best friend or teacher. All of them gave brilliant examples about why these people meant such a lot to them with answers including; ‘Because he always looks out for me at school’, ‘because she has achieved a lot’, ‘because they work really hard and are very kind’.
But the highlight of this scheme so far for me was this week’s session which started with us looking at a selection of heroes through history. Most impacting was by far Martin Luther King, whose story prompted bewilderment from the majority of my club.
‘But why didn’t they let black people with white people?’
‘Because at that time some people believed that black people weren’t equal to white people.’
‘But that’s just silly! It doesn’t matter if you are black or white or, or green! Isn’t it more important what you do than how you look?’
And of course they are right. As Martin Luther King himself said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Having looked at the infamous ‘I have a dream’ speech, I asked the children what their dreams were, and upon hearing their answers I found myself overwhelmed. These children, despite their youth, showed such passion about their chosen dreams, and such heartfelt explanations as to why these things meant so much to them.
- My dream is to be just like my sister
- My dream is to help loads of people who need it, like Florence Nightingale.
- My dream is that parents get along because it’s hard when they don’t.
- My dream is to get rid of nightmares for people
- My dream is to stop everybody littering
- My dream is that people won’t be bullied because they’re a bit different.
- My dream is to stop people hurting each other, emotionally or physically and to help them solve their problems.
And sitting in that hall today there was no doubt in my mind that every single one of these children could be a hero. Be it for an act which is big or small, they all have that spirit in them. Some will be subtle, and may go unnoticed by the majority of people, but their kindness and will to help will set them apart.
Others may be more obvious heroes, and go on to change the lives of many by taking matters into their own wonderful hands. (In fact it wouldn’t surprise me at all if in twenty years one particular member of the club was elected as Prime Minister.)
At the end of the session one child came up and asked what my dream was. To be honest, I’d been too busy listening to their ideas to piece together an eloquent and compact answer from the several dreams I have floating around in my brain. But without a doubt, one of my dreams is this; that every child grows up believing in their own potential, with the emotional and material tools they need to achieve what they wish to. That they won’t be held back by their own self-doubt and will value themselves enough to stand up for themselves and what they believe in.
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