September 5, 2019
During our first day of school assembly I shared the story of William Kamkwamba, a Malawian inventor and author. Growing up, Kamkwamba survived drought and famine in Malawi, pursuing his interest in science and engineering through self-taught study in his village’s makeshift library, and designing a windmill that brought power, energy, water, and life throughout his home town and country. His story captivated readers across the world after a widely seen TED Talk publicized his story, and his critically acclaimed autobiography, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2010), captured his incredible accomplishments. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Kamkwamba’s incredible story illustrates for us all the influence and power that can come from human determination and ingenuity.
‘Everything is possible, when you’re not afraid of trying’, Kamkwamba’s words to the world, provide a guide for all of us as we prepare to take on a new year of learning at Kent. We all experience problems and challenges, and while many of them may seem insignificant compared to Kamkwamba’s youth, they are a real part of our daily lives and a critical component of learning. And while our Kent Falcons may at times feel overwhelmed by challenges in the classroom and their lives, the only unacceptable response to those challenges is to refuse to try to overcome them. I’m inspired by our teachers and students who work to pique interest, spur creativity, support problem solving, and reinforce determination. Ask your child what he or she aspires to accomplish this year, and be their biggest champion to support them in their journey of trial and error, and growth.
We will learn more about William Kamkwamba through our all-district read of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, the young readers’ edition (2016) at Kent and the picture book (2012) at Bacich. Beyond the literary learning we’ll accomplish through our reading, we will open a world of experience about design-thinking, engineering, geography, cultural study, climate change, and more! You’ll learn a lot more about that in the weeks to come!
Thank you to everyone who joined us for Back to School Night Thursday evening. The tremendous support your show our school and our community of learners improves and enhances the experience of our students and staff daily. I look forward to seeing you at Kent soon!
All my best,