Today we had the honor and privilege to Skype with author Melba Patillo Beals as part of our excellent All-School Reads program, which unites our community by having all students, faculty, and staff read a book that has literary merit and delivers a strong social message. This year’s book choice was “March Forward, Girl.” The author, Melba Patillo Beals, grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, where life for African-Americans was far from just, and she and her family lived in constant fear. When integration of previously all-white public schools was initiated, Melba was one of the Little Rock Nine, who were chosen to be among the first to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School. The Little Rock Nine were met with such opposition from the white community that they needed a military escort for their safety. Years later, Melba and the rest of the Little Rock Nine, were award the Congressional Gold Medal, which is the highest honor our country awards. Melba was gracious to talk to our Connelly girls today in a special assembly where she spoke of her life experiences, and engaged the students by answering their questions, spoke of her faith, and encouraged us all to have respect and love for everyone. It was a memorable and heartfelt assembly that our students will never forget and that our community had the pleasure of experiencing.
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