Education: A Pathway to the Future was the MLK Banquet Theme

Education: A Pathway to the Future was the MLK Banquet Theme

Dr. Ralph Draper, Superintendent of the Spring ISD, was the Keynote Speaker for the 2014 MLK Banquet.The theme of the Banquet was Education: A Pathway to the Future. Dr. Draper gave many compelling reasons that showed the importance of education. He stated that in 1967, 77% of US work could done by unskilled labor. In 2014 that number has been reduced to 12% and will probably settle in the 5-6% range. No longer can you graduate from high school and go to work for Proctor and Gamble or General Motors. Dr. Draper said that our children are not competing only with children in their class room or in their city; they are competing with children all over the world. Dr. Draper asked a thought provoking question, “How do we prepare out children for a world we can’t define?” He followed that question with these suggestions of children will need no matter how their world looks.{{more}}Here is a summary of what he said:1. They need caring adults in their lives. Parents should take first place in their lives. He did cite a statistic that shows that 50% of all babies today are being born into single-parent homes.2. Children need other adults to step-up and step into their lives.3. Instill in them a desire to learn. “They need to be able to do the hard things.” “We need to teach them how to get through the hard stuff.” “We can’t live in a world where no one gets scraped knees.” “We have to be ok with our kids grinding it out.”4. “Then teach them to have a healthy dose of respect for authority and adults.”5. Not everything is interesting and entertaining.6. Teach them to stay the course.7. “Teach our children to be hopeful and dreamers.”Dr. Terrenia Fitts, PH applauds Dr. Draper’s speech. Dr. Fitts is President of the Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Floyd MillerDr. Draper concluded his speech by reciting Dr. King’s I Have a Dream Speech. Dr. Draper received a standing ovation.The evening was very enjoyable and everyone was uplifted and received an incentive to stand a little taller and have more hope for the future of our country. As usual, the Banquet had a diverse group of participants. This is something Dr. King would have been proud of and so should we.Mayor Norm Archibald stands at attention as Ms. Hattie Washington recites the Pledge. Ms. Washington is 92 years old. Mayor Norm Archibald was the MC for the Banquet. Photo by Floyd MillerConcert Pianist, Reverend Henry Smith, provided the dinner music. Photo by Floyd MillerDr. Sandra Harper, President of McMurry University, with her husband, Dave Harper, attending their first MLK Banquet. Photo by Floyd MillerMr. and Mrs. Doug Pritchett are regular attendees at the MLK Banquets. Photo by Floyd MillerMLK Banquet Chairman, Carl Lockett, received a hug from Mrs. Draper after presenting her a bouquet of flowers. Photo by Floyd MillerMs. Jeanette Norris, an ACU student, lead the audience in the Negro National Anthem. Photo by Floyd Miller Reverend Iziar Lankford, Minister of Southwest Drive Community United Methodist Church and Dr. Tony Roach, minister of the Minda St. Church of Christ. Photo by Floyd MillerState Representative Susan King, Dist. 71 and 1st Lt. David Reeves pose with some young people. 1st Lt. Reeves is very active as a mentor in AISD. Photo by Floyd Miller Robert Lilly with his father, Robert G. Lilly, pose for a picture while attending the MLK Banquet. Photo by Floyd MillerMrs. Kelley and Councilman Riley pose for a picture. Photo by Floyd Miller