Thumbs up to the 10th grade history students at Central High East for creating a Genocide Remembrance Museum, following a concept developed by teacher Jaime Schulze. Students experienced the exhibit Feb. 3-4 during school hours, with the public and parents invited the first evening. Schulze said the exhibit is part of Modern World History using the Common Core approach.
The student museum was inspired by the “Faces of Genocide” exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The project introduced each student to a genocide victim. Students received cards with a picture and story of a teenager, which they carried through the museum and then learned at the end whether the teen on the card had survived or perished. This is excellent teaching and learning that reaches far beyond the classroom by enriching the entire community.
Thumbs up to Clovis West High School linebacker Caleb Kelly, for signing with the Sooners of the University of Oklahoma. As the nation’s prep Butkus Award Winner, Kelly was the star of a suspenseful sports recruiting drama this week.
The scene may be unprecedented in Fresno County, as an army of media and about 200 friends and spectators Feb. 3 gathered at Lincoln Elementary School, a Golden Eagles feeder school in northwest Fresno, waiting for Kelly to announce his college destination. The young man was the prize in a coast-to-coast chase that counted 31 scholarship offers.
This also is a magic moment for Valerie Kelly, who has raised Caleb and his stepbrother, Jeremiah Casarez, as a single mother. Caleb has never seen his biological father. The decision was not an easy one for Caleb, who admits he cried over the tough decision between Notre Dame and Oklahoma. “I wanted to go to Notre Dame, but my heart was with Oklahoma,” he said.
Kelly also has landed yet another one of the nation’s most prestigious high school football honors by making Parade magazine’s All-America team. He is one of 25 players to make the Parade first team – long considered the elite in the land. It will appear in Sunday’s Parade edition in The Bee.
Thumbs up to Tulare Union High School alum Virgil Green of the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers linebacker Ben Jacobs, who starred at Fresno State, for making their way to the world’s biggest football stage, the 50th Super Bowl. The game, coming up Sunday at 3:30 p.m., will be played in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. This is not Green’s first time at the big show. Two years ago, his team got throttled by the Seattle Seahawks. He’s hoping this year will look much different. Jacobs and Green may not be superstars on their respective teams, but every time a man or woman from the Valley rises to a level of excellence, many little boys and girls are reassured that you can get anywhere from here.
Thumbs up to Fresno Building Healthy Communities for breaking ground on the Fresno BHC Skate Park at Romain. The process for this park was community-led and community-driven and wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for 250-plus young people and skaters who participated in the planning meetings held last year. The renderings were unfolded at the groundbreaking, and the students in attendance got a first look. It should be complete this spring. Residents of all ages make a difference not by sitting around grumbling, but by being proactive in calling for investments in the community – like the skate parks they want!