Saturday, August 23, 2008

Don't Ever Say You Can't...

Last Friday a most unbelievable surprise took place at my school. A man named Tony Melendez was vistiting Greeley, and he said he had time to visit two schools. My school was one of them. Out of 30. I lost 30 minutes of instructional time on Friday. We skipped read-aloud. We cut Literacy block 15 minutes short. I had to get the kids ready to go home 30 minutes early. You know what, though? It was TOTALLY worth it!

This is Tony Melendez. And he visited our school!

Some of you may have heard of Tony Melendez before. For those of you who haven't, allow me to introduce him as best I can. Tony Melendez was born without arms, because his mother is one of the many who took Thalidimide when she was pregnant. But did that stop him? Absolutely not! Tony has lived a more-than-full life as a musician- he plays the guitar with his feet! And he plays very very well! I should know- he played many songs for my students! He has a music company called Toe Jam, and he goes around giving inspirational concerts and speeches.

When we first entered the gym on Friday, I wasn't sure about having an assembly so early in the year. When Tony insisted that all students jump up out of their seats, throw their fists in the air, and whoop "yeeha!!" after each verse of "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mount'n" I thought for sure that the whole thing would be a chaotic nightmare! what I hadn't expected was 600+ students grades 1 to 8 to be complete captivated and mesmorized by our guest. And when Tony began to speak his story, you could have heard a pin drop in that gymnasium- even the middle schoolers were engaged! Some students even had tears in their eyes.

What Tony did was show our students that they could do anything they set their minds on- even play a guitar and throw and catch a frisbee with their feet. He reminded them that it was never okay to settle for "I can't." This was by far the best assembly I have ever interrupted my class instructional time for. They learned more than I could ever teach them in that 30 minutes.

After the assembly I, of course, ran back to the classroom, got the kids on the bus, and then returned to the gym to snag a copy of one of his cds. If you're a fan of inspirational Christian music, you'll love Tony's music. The cd I picked was:

I also grabbed a copy of his book for my husband, who loves an inspirational read:


This was by far one of the highlights of my career- being given the privelage to meet this man in person and watch him perform and inspire!

9 comments:

Bev said...

Very inspiring - what a great example for you and your kids - I'll have to check him out - I love that kind of book. PS Congrats on still being a non-smoker, I'm proud as heck of you. xooxx Aunt Bev

Barb said...

I wish I could have been there to meet him, too. I imagine he gave all the kids a lot to think about. What an inspiration he is!

xoxo
Mom

Mandy said...

The wonderful thing is now I can use this. When my kiddos want to give up, I can say "remember Tony Melendez? did he give up?"

:)

Rachel said...

What an amazing story - will have to check out one of his CD's, sounds amazing!

Dawn said...

What a blessing that your school allowed him to come!

August said...

Wow! That was very inspirational! And by the way.. I too agree... I would have been kind of upset to have class time interrupted.. but it sounds like it was totally worth it.

Tracey said...

We haven't heard from you in awhile so I tagged you...check out my post!!!

Power Up Love said...

the greatest gift...

Stacey said...

He is incredible. I saw him perform and met him 10 years ago. Glad to hear he is still touching hearts with his life!!