For the fifteenth year, IMES welcomed back Jonathan Sprout, an award-winning recording artist, for an afternoon concert, quiz show, and eye-opening inspiration about American heroes.
Second graders gathered in the cafeteria where Jonathan Sprout was waiting with two guitars, an array of biographies from the school library, an easel of black and white portraits, and, hidden away, an oversized version of George Washington’s hat.
“I sing about some of world’s greatest heroes,” said Jonathan Sprout. “Of course there are heroes all over the world but today we’re going to focus on five heroes from the United States.
“We are going to play the guessing game,” Sprout continued. “I’m going to give you some clues. As soon as you think you know who I am talking about, put your hand up. You could be the person who gets to say the answer into the microphone.”
“He was considered the best dancer in the colony of Virginia. He was a man of many firsts—he was our first master spy, the first person to raise mules in the US, our first millionaire, and our first coins were made from his silverware. He’s even on our one-dollar bill.”
“George Washington,” the children called out together.
The students named every hero. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sacagawea, Amelia Earhart, Abraham Lincoln.
"Thank you, teachers,” said Jonathan Sprout. “This is Increase Miller University.”
Jonathan Sprout had a song for each hero, ranging from ballads to pop rock. “Washington’s Hat, Imagine That!” brought kids to their feet (check out the video below).
When Jonathan Sprout told the story of each hero, he called out their accomplishment as well as their character. “Remember how Amelia Earhart lived, not how she disappeared,” he said. “She reached for the stars, stretched the realm of possibility, and followed her dreams.”
“Abraham Lincoln was President; he kept us united and freed four million slaves. But he was also witty, patient, honest.”
“A hero is someone who leads the way. They inspire us. They bring out the best in us,” said Jonathan Sprout. “Just because someone is famous doesn’t mean they are a hero.”