Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Story of All Stars and Moonbeams, A Brown School Tradition @MyBrownSchool @writingproject @ncte @JCPSKY

It took me seven years to finally find a way to decode Appleworks 6 files, so I could retrieve the original text that was illustrated in Kentucky to celebrate the All Stars/Moonbeams collaboration. In 1997, Bonnie Cecil - a kindergarten teacher at the Brown School in Louisville, Kentucky - asked if I'd like to continue in the tradition of Sue McV and lead my senior class to partner with the incoming 5 year-olds. We did, and in year two, she wondered if I would write a poem (and I recognized the Seussian qualities of my verse). 

I remember the day, in 1998, when the senior class went to Bonnie's room and I introduced them to the All Star kindergartners. One of the little boys looked up at me seriously and asked, "If we are the All Stars, then who are you guys?" I admitted I didn't know. He then jutted out his lower lip, thought for a second, and said, "I know who you are. You're the Moonbeams."

From that day on, I became Mr. Moonbeam to the young people at the school. I totally forgot about this until I saw a post on Facebook (2014) of Moonbeam/All Star collaboration. I've been gone from the J. Graham Brown School since 2007. Bonnie left around 2000. It makes me very proud to know that in 2014 the tradition continues. I wonder where the illustrated version of this story is - I would love to see it again. Bonnie had an illustrator friend do a remarkable job with it and the book was bound. We used it every year to kick off the partnership. A few years later, the Fireflies joined us - another kindergarten class. There's a story for them, as well....more detective work will ensue!

The Story of All Stars and Moonbeams
Bryan Ripley Crandall, 1998-1999
aka “Mr. Moonbeam”

(page one) You hoo?  Are you listening?
Can’t you hear the moonlight glistening?
I’m trying to tell you our story.

(page two) A ask? Whatever do I mean?
It’s a story about All Stars, a tale of the Moonbeams.

(page three)    You see…Once upon a time, 
amongst free verse and rhyme,
before pancakes for breakfast and icky-poo-doo slime,
a colleague of mine, with a flare for great dreams,
came to me wishing for a mentoring team.

(page four)  Her name was Ms. Bonnie, Ms. Bonita Boo Boo,
and she was the captain of the All Star,  kindergarten crew.
Her mission was to place magic in each of her stars,
which she did like an expert, from bright, glitter jars.

(page five)  She worked on her children, from morning until night,
Making them sparkle with their own special light.
Ms. Bonita would sprinkle and primp them with glee,
making each glimmer, as bright as can be....
but it wasn’t enough for her All Stars, you see,
              (and that’s how it all began).

(page six) Bonita sat, stared and slumbered a while,
she thought about pickles and crazed crocodiles,
She rocked and she raved and she wrote and she rapped.
Until she invented a plan that was brilliantly mapped.
  “My Stars, they need moonlight, the kind from above,
The Moonbeams, their magic, & oh, how we’ll love.....”
(page seven) But my Big Kids, the Seniors, the cream of my crop?
The ones from my room who are at their last stop?
The Moonbeams, my babies, with dreams left untold?
Are asked to shine All Stars and to be part of their mold?

(page seven) Bonita, so determined, ran up the Brown stairs
ducking under Ronnie, the Principal, Go Bears!
& past Kay-O’s library and her bookcase affairs
To room 301, where the Moonbeams wrote in their pairs.

(page nine) Ding Dong, Ding Dong Bonita did ring,
Tempting Mr. Moonbeam with this dream-wishy thing.
“Mr. Moonbeam, Mr. Moonbeam,
A mentoring fling!
The Big Kids, the little kids, together they’ll sing!!”

(page ten) “A mentoring fling?” I questioned quite dark,
But, seniors are tired - they’re all out of spark,
They’ve done the school thing & have left their last mark...
  so I confessed to Ms. Bonita, “I’m afraid of their bark!” 
& suggested she take them across the street to the Peace Park.

(page eleven) “But, Mr. Moonbeam, you’re know they can write...
They can help my lil’ All Stars start with ABC flight....
Let them mentor my All Stars and brighten their light.
Come On, help me do it.  You know that it’s right!”

(page twelve) Well, I sighed.  I sagged.  And I slippity-slopped
I jumped on one foot and I hippity-hopped,
I bounced and I bipped and then I buggedy-bopped,
then made a decision that couldn’t be stopped!
I leaped to the moon, landed smoothly, then plopped,
and announced really loud, “This plan hasn’t flopped,
Boo-boo’s dream wouldn’t falter & her wish couldn’t pop...

(page thirteen) Me, Mr. Moonbeam, with my Moonbeams and glow,
decided to help Bonita with this mentoring show.
I don’t know much, but I know what I know,
If the Moonbeams could sparkle, 
then the All Stars would grow.

(page fourteen)  Ms. Bonita, this wish, well…it all became true, 
and the fireworks began for the celestial two.

  The Moonbeams and All Stars dipped in star-spangled glue,
Doing as great partners magnificently do.

(page 15) They read, they wrote, sometimes played in the sand...
but most of all, they learned, together, hand in hand....
       They became our great thinkers and led their own band.
These friendships, they sparkled, all of it grand !

Ms. All Star and I shared our winks and a smile,
Knowing that magic exists…at least for a while.


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