Friday, September 27, 2013

Abigail Adams Went To School!

    Wednesday, September 18th was a beautiful day in the minds and hearts in a classroom of brilliant third grade students at a local elementary school where I was invited to share my National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) American Heritage Music Composition award-winning song, " Be Like Abigail."

When I arrived, I was met by Stanley and Campbell in the "visitors" area who were sent to be my helpers. We traveled up to the their classroom and I was blessed to be able to share historical, patriotic information about John and Abigail Adams. After a short Q & A, I sang "Be Like Abigail (Ode to Abigail Smith Adams) with the children. Their teacher requested the song be sung again....four times! They absolutely loved the song! I provided book markers with Abigail's picture on the front and the lyric on the back. For the boys, I made it a point to make copies of a picture of John Adams, first vice-president and second President of the United States with bullet point on the back of the picture of his life and times. I handed these out before we sang "Abigail." It was a fun, productive morning that continued until lunchtime. They asked me to autograph their pictures and book marks - which I did. They wanted to touch and see my guitar up close (ly) which they did.

I am posting one of the pictures taken of me. Bear in mind there were nineteen enthusiastic third graders in those desks in front of me in rapt attention singing their hearts out! What a pleasure it was to share! Note the fabulous red, white and blue dress. I hope to do more of this along the trails of Tennessee.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Abigail Adams Goes To School

Along the trails of Tennessee, tomorrow morning at 10:30 I will share my National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) award-winning song Be Like Abigail (Ode to Abigail Smith Adams) with a class of third graders at one of Nashville's premier elementary schools. I was invited by a teacher friend of mine to share Abigail with her students. How fun! 
    As you may know, women of Abigail's generation - The Revolutionary War era (1776) - were denied formal education in favor of domestic responsibilities. Among her plethora of honors (one being the wife of John Adams, first Vice-President and second President of the United States), I know Mrs. Adams would be pleased to be heralded as a patriotic woman of valor, and heroine of The American Revolution to a wide-eyed group of seven-year olds. What a wonderful opportunity to plant patriotic seeds into the hearts and minds of our children. 
    I will include pictures of "Abigail Adams Goes To School" after tomorrow's adventure. Stay tuned...which, btw, is the mantra of any self-respecting musician :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Daughters of the American Revolution Fort Nashborough Chapter Luncheon

A Life Changing Message

As a member of the Fort Nashborough Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), our luncheon in The University Club at Vanderbilt University was particularly special Thursday, September 12th. It was special not just because I sang " Be Like Abigail " for the first time since I was awarded the 2013 National Society Daughters of the American Revolution American Heritage Music Composition Award during the 122nd Continental Congress in Washington, D.C. And it was special not just because every Daughter at the luncheon is special, has a special patriot and a special story to tell. It was particularly special because of the speaker, Josie McCamish. I don't know when I've been as moved by a speaker as I was this afternoon...and I've heard a lot of speakers.

 Mrs. McCamish is a 1962 graduate of the Kate Duncan Smith School (KDS) one of the schools DAR sponsors and is located in Grant, Alabama. Emerging from a poor family in a rural Appalachian community Mrs. McCamish is only one example of how God provides for His people through His people. Having recently retired from a forty - year career as a school teacher, among her many recollections, Mrs. McCamish's shared an early memory of how God provided for her when her family could not afford even 15 cents for a "hot lunch" so she could eat with the children who, at lunchtime, would eat downstairs; Mrs. McCamish sat upstairs and ate a cold herself. Sharing her stories as a small child at KDS were heart-breaking, heart-warming and brought tears to our eyes. What a poster-child she is for what is possible as a consequence of the "good" human beings can do when they focus and care...and give out of a heart filled with the love of "God, Home and Country" - the official motto of The Daughters of the American Revolution

Kate Duncan Smith School is located on Gunter Mountain in northeast Alabama. The school serves grades K-12 and provides opportunities for the children of a large, rural area in the Appalachian foothills to develop a strong love of American ideals as they obtain a distinctive academic background. Emphasis is upon patriotic education throughout the curriculum. Although the school plant and enrollment have increased greatly in size and number since 1924, the same spirit of dedication to achievement, patriotic and moral values, and service to community and country exists on the campus today as it did in the early years of this unique educational experiment of the Daughters of the American Revolution.