Curator Marian Coleman said while the program will offer fun for youth ages 5-14 during a portion of their summer break, the overall intent of the program is to encourage youth to make good choices in education, careers and relationships.
“We’re going to be highlighting some of the African-American inventors and we’re going to showcase some of the things they’ve invented,” Coleman said. “Some of the things we use on a daily basis were invented by African-Americans ...”
She added, “For example, George Washington Carver made a lot of things from the peanut, so [for those without peanut allergies] we’re going to attempt to make some. We want to put together an African-American inventors quilt ... and we’re going to give each [participant] a square to highlight an African-American inventor and put them together to make a quilt. We’re going to do some other things, too, like make homemade ice cream, making a homemade candle like Harriet Tubman used ... when she was leading some of the slaves to freedom ..., we’re going to have a woman that is coming to do African-American storytelling and then we’re going to have [participants] write a story of their own. ... Any of the activities we can do to reinforce what [African-Americans] have invented, those are the activities we’re going to be doing.”
Participants also will have the chance to win a Super Soaker water gun, first invented by Lonnie Johnson, an African-American government engineer and inventor from Mobile, Ala.
“Some of the things we’re trying to get over are encouraging our youth not to give up and not to quit, if they have a dream to continue with this dream and do whatever is necessary to make this dream come true. We might have some inventors in our audience who come, so we want to encourage them,” Coleman said. “This is about encouraging the kids to make better choices in life and to reach for higher goals.
“All parents want their kids to do better than they did, so this is a way to encourage them. A lot of the African-Americans we’ll talk about had struggles that they went through before they achieved their goals, so we want [participants] to know they aren’t the only ones who will go through struggles and it’s just a matter of keeping it going and keeping it up.”
The program also will serve as a Cartersville City Schools summer feeding program location, but those seeking the free lunch are asked to call one day ahead of time. Participants are also asked to arrive before 11 a.m. as the guest speakers will promptly begin at 11 a.m. For more information, contact the center, 2361 Joe Frank Harris Parkway, Cassville, at 770-382-3392.