Bryant first grader delivers powerful performance of `Still I Rise’ to standing ovation

Event recognized the 22nd anniversary of NAAPID

Video and story by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

Bryant Elementary first grader Khara Gilmore received a standing ovation after reciting Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” during  NAAPID at Night at Eastern Michigan University.

Khara, who has been blind since birth, happily accepted the assignment after she was heard reciting a small part in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day presentation by teacher assistant Dee Johnson, who was also on the NAAPID planning committee.

Khara recites “Still I Rise” at the NAAPID at Night celebration Feb. 12 at Eastern Michigan University.

“She was amazing,” said Khara’s mother, Jennifer Joseph, a psychologist at Wines Elementary. “She was super excited and so proud of herself.  She got a long standing ovation and got the chance to meet Yvonne Dulin, NAAPID Co-Founder and State Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo. It was an awesome day for her!”

Joseph said that as soon as Khara walked off stage, she sang: “I did it! I did it! I really, really did it! I put excitement and expression into my poem! I’m so glad I got to do it.”

Then she paused and asked: “Were people really clapping for me?”

Joseph said that she first thought Khara would like to give her MLK Day speech at the event. But she said she’d rather recite a poem.

After meeting State Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, Khara said to her mother: “She sounds so confident!”

“She chose that poem and delivered it with confidence and poise,” said Joseph. “I’m extremely proud of her and glad she feels so good about herself.”


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