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: