A Greenwood activist who has worked with youth over the years is providing summer activities for children while also teaching them valuable life lessons.
Since June 1, Shun Pearson has been working with God’s Helping Hands Learning Academy, a learning center for youth, to teach children how to play team sports.
Pearson works with two age groups: the “cubs,” who range in age from 3 to 5, and “bears,” who are between 6 and 10.
This month Pearson is teaching the kids how to play baseball. Next month he’ll teach them basketball. Besides learning each position within the sport and how to play it, Pearson said children are also “working on their team-building skills.”
Pearson also teaches them about safety on the streets and classroom etiquette as well as current events and how those events affect them.
“We’d like to give them fruitful things children can take away from the program,” he said.
For example, they have learned how to make protest signs, coinciding with recent protests against racism throughout the country.
Takisha Bishop, the founder of God’s Helping Hands Learning Academy, said it’s important that kids keep up with current events, particularly news pertaining to police brutality following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died after an encounter with Minneapolis police in late May.
“Children are not too young to be exposed to diversity,” Bishop said. “In the aftermath of police brutality and both violent and nonviolent protests going on around the world, one ponders how do we explain systemic racism to our children. They need to know that racism is real. They need to know how to unite everyone.”
She added that the children are “ecstatic” each day to see Pearson.
Pearson said his work is part of the Mississippi Delta Ceasefire Initiative, a community program he founded to help curtail gun violence within the Greenwood area.
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