More to the story with Staley: Speak like a king

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — This Wednesday, February 1st, is the start of Black History Month. It’s when we pay tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled through adversity to achieve citizenship in this country.

And it’s also a big day for a 9th grade class at one school in Chattanooga.

Here are the hopes and dreams of just a few of Michael Howard’s 9th grade students at Chattanooga Preparatory School. It is an all-boys public charter school in Highland Park.

They’re getting ready for an annual project this Wednesday: “Speak Like a King.” The young men will craft a speech, articulating their hopes and dreams. Just like Martin Luther King spoke of.

“Let them know that MLK Jr. had a dream, and he impacted our lives,” Michael Howard, the school’s director of theater, said. “My mission is to remind these young men of their hopes and dreams and remind them that they can accomplish these things.”

Howard began his “Speak Like a King” program three years ago. As he guides these students to reach for the stars. That anything is possible.

It’s working!

Ninth grader Edwin Tomas said, “I think it’s a good project for the school. As well as others can see what we’re doing. I really think it’s a good thing for everybody.”

“I see the boys and try to help them navigate their lives. How to be better students. Better learners. Better listeners. Better community members. Yes, the boys are listening,” Howard said.

“Speak Like a King” will be a social media drop Wednesday on all of Chatt Prep’s social media accounts. This includes Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Chatt Prep began operations back in 2018. Howard says the goal of the school, as well as “Speak Like a King” is to teach the young men and to let them know that there are many good people, who believe in them.

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