Little appeared as part of a music- and poetry-filled program to celebrate Black History Month, the first in a series of such programs in Anniston public schools.
During his speech, Little told students to remember the importance of believing in themselves.
“I look into your little eyes, and I can tell you’re dreaming,” he said.
He warned the students that sometimes along the way, they might meet people who will tell them they can’t achieve their dreams to become police officers, firefighters, doctors or lawyers, but reminded students that if they believe they can achieve a goal, it’s possible.
“You must understand, students, dreaming is where it all starts, it’s not where it stops,” Little added, telling the children that discipline and hard work are two necessary ingredients to make their dreams come true.
Little’s energetic presentation engaged children across grade levels.
Five-year-old Jayden Clark enjoyed a story Little told about a boy who saved his friend from an icy pond because he believed in himself.
Dylan Whatley, 9, who was excited about his first time meeting an author, was more impressed by the bigger message. He said he liked hearing that students should believe they can accomplish their dreams.
“He brought the kids into what he was talking about so they could understand, and that was really good,” said parent Jammie Thornhill. “That was uplifting.”
Little also reminded parents to model behavior that will help their children succeed.
“What we do as parents speaks so loudly our kids can’t hear a word we’re saying,” he said.
Principal Betty Merriweather emphasized the idea that parents are their children’s first teacher. “Take the message home,” she said, “and let it sink into your mind and your heart.”
Staff writer Paige Rentz: 256-235-3564. On Twitter @PRentz_Star.