Reaching for the stars

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BSES students sharing dreams through schoolwide art project

By Jesef Williams

Creative sketches and unique color schemes make up the dozens of paper stars that will soon adorn the halls at Brooklyn Springs Elementary School.

The students there have been asked to “shoot for the stars” – to consider their ultimate goals and transfer those dreams to paper.

One fifth-grade class had their dreams all mapped out.

Karla Lopez’s dream is for her two older siblings to be able to move from Mexico and live with her in the United States. She wants to “be a leader” and help immigrants get Social Security.

Her classmate, James Thomas, wants to be like the late famous wildlife expert Steve Irwin, who was widely known as “The Crocodile Hunter.”

Thomas’ goal is to travel to China and capture the scarce Chinese crocodile lizard, which is only found in Asia. He wants to move the lizards to a safe area that will allow them to reproduce and replenish their population.

Thomas said the dangers involved with wildlife hunting don’t bother him.

“I’m putting my life on the line to help them,” Thomas said.

Jerald Talford used to want to be a professional football player, but  recently changed his mind. After watching Barack Obama’s political ascension, Talford now wants to be president some day.

“We know he’s going to change the world,” he said.

After hearing about Michael Long’s dream, it was easy to understand why he had on a Carolinas Panthers T-shirt on Tuesday. The fifth-grader wants to be an NFL quarterback one day – hopefully for the Panthers.

Dreams of some of other students include working as a chef, fostering a drug-free world, feeding the hungry and helping the homeless.

Web of Dreams

Brooklyn Springs Elementary guidance counselor Anne Howey started talking to students this semester about setting goals after she bought “Dream,” written by author and educator Susan V. Bosak. It features illustrations that reference a lifetime’s worth of hopes and dreams.

Howey passed along the idea to art teacher Lisa Stamper, who’s helped students turn it into a creative project. Each student’s paper star, with its own designs and colors, will be displayed in the school’s hallways.

Stamper will also write a report about the Brooklyn Springs Elementary School’s initiative to send to the Legacy Project, Bosak’s nationwide literacy organization.

The Legacy Project, through its Web of Dreams program, will deliver those dreams to President-elect Barack Obama in time for his inauguration in January.

“This is tying in something real-life to the art process,” Stamper said. “It will help them think about their dreams and know the steps to take to get achieve those goals.”


Contact reporter Jesef Williams at jwilliams@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1152