Source
Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.

Education Leader Jesse Adams Jr.

The importance of knowing your world

By Ashley Nhan | January 26 , 2007

Jesse Adams Jr.
Kid Reporter Ashley Nhan and Jesse Adams pose in front of a poster of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. at Lumberton Middle School in New Jersey. (Photo: Courtesy Ashley Nhan)

I was excited and full of anticipation when I got my first assignment as a Scholastic News Kid Reporter. I interviewed one of Lumberton, New Jersey’s local black leaders, Jesse Adams Jr., for the upcoming Black History Month reports. We met in the perfect setting. Adams, a member of the Lumberton Board of Education for more than 14 years, arranged to have the interview in the middle school I attend.
Adams is a product of Lumberton Township. He grew up and raised his family here. His four children are either still attending or have already graduated from Rancocas Valley Regional High School (RVRHS) here. In fact, Adams is also a graduate of RVRHS.

Besides his 14 years on the Lumberton school board, Adams has also worked on the Rancocas Valley Board of Education. He is currently working at Lockheed-Martin. He is the logistics manager for a Coast Guard program.

I talked to Adams about the significance of Black History Month and what it means to him.

“For me, personally, I think Black History Month means celebrating and remembering African-Americans who sacrificed and gave us the opportunities we have,” he said. “Today, I have the opportunity to work at Lockheed-Martin because of what those people went through.”

Growing up, Adams was a big fan of baseball. He admired Willie Mays, but his true hero is his father.

“He left home at sixth grade,” Adams said. “He was out on his own, working his way from Mississippi to up north, and he managed to make a career in the military, start a family, and survive. He did the best for us, so I’m really proud to be his son.”

During the interview, Adams told me about an important event that affected his life when he was young. While his family was driving from Fort Dix to Fort Knox, Kentucky, they stopped by a hotel. His father went to check in, but quickly returned to the car.

“We can’t stay here,” he told his family. Instead they drove all night to reach their destination. Many years later, Adams asked his father about that incident. He didn’t understand what had happened. His father told he was turned away from the hotel. He was told, “Your wife [she is Korean] can stay, but you and your children have to stay someplace else [because they were African-American].”

Today, Adams is a prominent leader in his community. He says he became involved in the Board of Education because he is concerned about all kids’ educations, no matter what their skin color.

He also thinks kids today should learn the importance of getting involved in their communities and working for a common good.

“Kids need to understand what is going on with politics, global warming, and their environment,” he said. “The world has changed dramatically since I was a kid. Technology is driving a lot, and it’s a faster world. People should get involved in what’s going on because it’s their world, and the mistakes we make . . . they’re going to have to live with. So I really think people should get involved.”

JOIN A DISCUSSION

What does Black History Month mean to you? Join a discussion.

Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month with Scholastic News Online! Learn more about African-American leaders and their contributions.

About the Author

Ashley Nhan is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Comprehension Clubs Complete Set Grades K-8

    Comprehension Clubs Complete Set Grades K-8

    Authored by Dr. Irene Fountas and Dr. Gay Su Pinnell, Scholastic's Comprehension Clubs for Grades K-8 brings deep reading, deep thinking, and deep discussion to the whole class. This new full year curriculum, soon available for grades 6-8, was specifically built for the Common Core State Standards. Comprehension Clubs gives students and teachers the opportunity to talk, think and write about text through Student Book Clubs and Interactive Read Alouds. As middle school students advance in their reading abilities and develop their analytical skills, Comprehension Clubs provides teachers the scaffolding to create student-driven conversation guided by meaningful questions and diverse overarching themes. Students of all levels are given the agency to voice their opinions and share perspectives with peers.

    Complete K-8 set includes:
    • Teaching Guide by Fountas & Pinnell
    • 270 Read Aloud picture books
    • 270 Read Aloud lesson cards
    • 216 Book Club titles (216 titles, 10 copies each, 2160 books)
    • 216 Book Club lesson cards
    • 216 Audio books
    • 48 Unit folders

    Set Includes:
    • 548888 Comprehension Clubs Grade K Set
    • 548895 Comprehension Clubs Grade 1 Set
    • 548902 Comprehension Clubs Grade 2 Set
    • 548909 Comprehension Clubs Grade 3 Set
    • 548916 Comprehension Clubs Grade 4 Set
    • 548923 Comprehension Clubs Grade 5 Set
    • 562137 Comprehension Clubs Grade 6 Set
    • 562138 Comprehension Clubs Grade 7 Set
    • 562136 Comprehension Clubs Grade 8 Set

    Call 1-800-387-1437 for more information!

    $9,895.50 You save: 55%
    Paperback Book and Streaming Audio | Grades K-8
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Comprehension Clubs Complete Set Grades K-8
    Grades K-8 $9,895.50
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Phyllis C. Hunter 1st and 2nd Edition Bundle Grade 3

    Phyllis C. Hunter 1st and 2nd Edition Bundle Grade 3

    Build avid readers with essential books from the best-selling Phyllis C. Hunter Libraries, 1st and 2nd Editions. Research shows that having access to a wide range of engaging books in the classroom plays an important role in children's reading success. That's why nationally renowned literacy expert Phyllis C. Hunter has drawn on over 20 years of expertise, and has hand-picked the award-winning classics, contemporary fiction, and illuminating nonfiction titles in these collections. These books will captivate students' imaginations while addressing the essential components of reading- phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary.

    Bundle includes:
    585778: Phyllis C. Hunter Libraries 2nd Edition Grade 3
    955322: Phyllis C. Hunter Libraries 1st Edition Grade 3

    Titles include:
    The Story of Ruby Bridges
    Richard Wright and the Library Card
    Why Do Zebras Have Stripes?
    Tito Puente: Mambo King
    ... and more!

    $790.00 You save: 33%
    Book Collection | Grade 3
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Phyllis C. Hunter 1st and 2nd Edition Bundle Grade 3
    Grade 3 $790.00
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com