Darth Vader, Marines, and Reading Aloud

I watched a TED Talks with actor Adam Driver who plays Darth Vader’s son in the last two Star Wars movies.  He is one great actor!  The new Star Wars movie (saw it yesterday) is outstanding.

What he does outside of the movie world is remarkable, and mirrors what I do with children.

Adams’s pathway to Star Wars is surprising.  After 9/11 he enlisted into the Marines.  In his words, “It was the right thing to do.”  He was thrust into a diverse world where everyone got along, and got your back.  Friendships were tight, and so were routines and orders.

Adam was wounded.  All his fellow Marines were there at the hospital.  A band of brothers. He never forgot this.

After serving in the Marines he studied acting, something he had loved since high school. He felt strongly about expressing words and feelings, and knew that for many of his Marine buddies and members of the military, this was not always easy.

Adam thought of providing entertainment of all sorts,  as a medium for words and thoughts, to those who don’t have an opportunity to express themselves. Brilliant!  He began a non profit, Arts in the Armed Forces.  This simply brought reading and speaking, and performing a little of everything — often words from plays or books — that soldiers hadn’t heard before.  Words that opened their world.  Words that opened their eyes. Words that gave them the way to express their own words and feelings.

Books do that.  Words do that.  It struck me that I am doing for children what Adam and Arts in the Armed Forces is doing for soldiers and sailors.  I am giving children words and opening their world.  Book after book, from picture books to chapter reading, builds upon all those words.  Scaffolding.  Suddenly, children begin to relate and understand.  They use those words and learn to express themselves  and to understand others.

The arts hold the power to make a difference and enhance learning.  Thank you, Adam Driver:

Jennie

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in Diversity, Expressing words and feelings, Giving, Imagination, Inspiration, military, play performances, reading, reading aloud, storytelling, The Arts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Darth Vader, Marines, and Reading Aloud

  1. beetleypete says:

    Good to learn more about the background of a popular actor, and to see him doing something really worthwhile for the community too. Thanks, Jennie.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Wonderful Jennie. I know of the actor, but had not known about his past history. And I have not watched the new film of Star Wars with him in it..
    What a very inspiring young man..
    Thank you Jennie.. and wishing you a very Happy New Year 🙂

  3. Isn’t he Han and Leia’s son? I’m confused.

  4. Sue Vincent says:

    I didn’t know his story, Jennie, so thank you.
    As an aside…when I phone my son, the ringtone he has assigned to me is the Darth Vader theme … 😉

  5. Interesting, Jennie. I watched the film the other day and liked it, too. Adam was alluring. I like this backstory a lot.

  6. reocochran says:

    It is always nice to learn background stories about actors and actresses. The Arts may be valuable for soldiers to have somewhere they can express themselves openly; without the structure of the military.

  7. Thank you for passing this on, Jennie. I love Ted talks anyway and this was extra interesting. I understand what he was saying about the military being a community than is stronger than anything in civilian life. I still miss that.

  8. Norah says:

    Wow! What an empowering video. I’m gobsmacked by the Batman performance. What a story, incredibly told. And what an inspiring story of Adam Driver, and a wonderful contribution he is making. I’m not a Star Wars fan and haven’t seen the recent movies (saw the originals back in the 80s) but I will think differently about Adam Driver when I read his name – a remarkable young man. Thank you for sharing. It has given me much to think about.

  9. Amazing, and just watched the last movie too. 🙂

  10. I love TED talks and now I’m looking forward to this one as I never knew anything about Adam besides his acting. Glad to hear you loved the latest Star Wars film, which I’m also looking forward to. Happy New Year, Jennie!

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