This is the seventh year that I have photographed the Melrose Leadership Academy kindergarten students.
I started the project when my daughter was in kindergarten. My daughter is no longer a student at MLA, but some of her former kindergarten classmates still attend MLA and they helped me with this year’s shoot.
Last year I wrote about how the project began. Each year I search for a new idea. I wish I had thought about including the original kindergarten students earlier.
I want my images to reflect MLA’s community spirit. By including the older students, the kindergarten portraits show more of the community spirit that I have always witnessed. I remember when my fourth grade son started MLA. He liked having the older role models. Did the older kids realize how much they were appreciated?
Today is Cesar Chavez Day. Some agencies and districts honor the holiday. It’s a complicated holiday for many reasons. I think that the holiday is even more complicated, because it calls for us to honor community building. How do we “teach our children well?” How can we encourage them to grow into productive community members?
As usual, I don’t have the answers to my own questions. I just have pictures. The kindergarten kids enjoyed playing with the older students. The older students seemed surprised that the youngsters liked them.
To see more 2016 photos, view the slideshow here.
To view more Melrose Leadership Academy Photos, view the collection.