This summer, we are excited to be partnering with D.E.L.O.R.E.S. Works, a unique non-profit organization consisting primarily of experienced African American teachers and community experts, as well as local artists and athletes, who are working with and inspiring RPS students.
“Children need to be more centered and they need to see the diversity of opportunities that are open to them,” says Dr. Delores Henderson, founder of D.E.L.O.R.E.S. Works. Dr. Henderson is a retired school administrator, mentor, speaker and education advocate.
Both Dr. Henderson and Superintendent Unowsky sat down with Al McFarlane, host of Conversations with Al McFarlane on KFAI radio, to talk about the program and the impact it is having here in Richfield. You can listen to the recording here (starting at 38:50).
“You bring an A-list group of leaders and artists and activists… people that are making a difference every day, in real-time… You are placing them in front of and with and alongside young people who will be inspired by them,” noted Al McFarlane in the interview.
“The powerful people that Dr. Henderson has helped to bring into our community will serve our kids now and into the future,” responded Dr. Unowsky. “It’s an honor to be part of this work.”
Some of the sessions provided to RPS students this summer include:
- A residency with Gary Hines, music director and producer of the three-time, Grammy Award-Winning Sounds of Blackness
- Theater and movement classes with Jacqueline Johnson
- Sports skills facilitated by Kirby Puckett, Jr.
- Photography lessons with local photographer Robert McLain
- Gardening program with I AM Resources
- Violin instruction from Mercedes Clark
- Arts exploration with Donna McIntosh
In the interview, Dr. Henderson commented that “we are seeing children who are excited about learning. We are seeing children who are excited about seeing people who look like them.”
“This is something that should be a model locally, nationally and internationally,” added Gary Hines, a music director and producer who is part of the program in Richfield this summer.
RPS students attending summer school have been participating in these classes since June 21 and we look forward to continuing this partnership well into the future. “Students are already planning what they want to do next summer,” noted Dr. Lynette Scott, the summer school coordinator, in the KFAI interview.
One of the closing questions in the interview was from Al McFarlane to Mercedes Clark, a violin instructor in the summer program and also the executive director of D.E.L.O.R.E.S. Works, was “How are you going to change the world?”
“I want students to know they have a part, a voice and a place in this world so that they can become global citizens and actually contribute wholeheartedly—from academics to life experiences. And that’s what we’re giving them. Experiences and exposure,” she replied.