Students at Greene County's five school districts will receive some advice from a member of the Indianapolis Colts organization this week.
But it has nothing to do with football.
Ken Johnson, chaplain for the Colts, will speak at all five schools Tuesday and Wednesday, and then provide a community-wide event Wednesday night at Bloomfield High School's Glover Gymnasium. It will start at 7 p.m.
Johnson will be joined by his son, Kendall KD Johnson, who was recently named the No. 1 Christian Pop singer by MTV.
Ken Johnson will focus his message on "Building Dreams and Empowering People to Soar."
The two-day tour was made possible by the Greene County Grant Consortium.
"His message is basically ... believe in your dreams and push forward," GCGC director Sophie Haywood explained. "Don't be stuck on stupid. That's one of his lines."
Haywood said Johnson will tell a story about some people who were hiking and came upon an eagle's nest.
"They bring the egg down and let a chicken hatch the egg," Haywood said. "The eagle comes out thinking it's ugly and can't do the things an eagle can."
One day an eagle flies nearby and takes the young eagle to the nest. The young eagle claims he/she can't fly, and then falls out of the nest.
"But he soars," Haywood said. "Everything that was inside, that the eagle yearned to do, he thought he was an outcast, when actually they were gifts that he had.
"Basically he'll tell the kids they can do anything they want as long as they make positive decisions and choices."
Johnson is proof that anything is possible through a positive attitude and hard work.
"He himself has a very moving story," Haywood said. "He'll tell you right from the beginning that his mother was a prostitute and his father was a heroin addict.
"He has a book and it's a wonderful read."
The convocations and rally came about from a meeting of school officials this past summer.
The GCGC hosted a three-day retreat as part of Communities CAN, a federal grant program that's aimed at reducing student alcohol abuse. Ken Johnson spoke to the group.
"For the final event of that three-day workshop, Chaplain Johnson came and was the speaker," Haywood recalled. "As part of that we also contracted with them (including his son) to provide the convocations."
The Johnsons will be at White River Valley (9:15 to 10:30 a.m.) and Eastern Greene (1:30 to 2:45 p.m.) schools Tuesday, and Bloomfield (8:15 to 9:30 a.m.), Linton (10:15 to 11:30 a.m., and Shakamak (1 to 2:30 p.m.) schools Wednesday.
Students at Greene Academy and Turning Point Education Center will participate in the WRV convocation, and then meet with Johnson and his son at 11 a.m. at Open Arms.
As part of being honored by MTV, KD Johnson was given a 10-city concert tour.
"He got to pick the cities, and he said he'd like to host one in our county. He wants to bring to a rural community events and opportunities that they normally wouldn't have at their back door," Haywood explained.
"If we sell 1,500 tickets, MTV will syndicate the show."
KD Johnson's concert will be Nov. 17 at White River Valley High School. The doors will open at 6 p.m., and the concert begins at 7 p.m.
"Tickets are normally $45, but they're just $10 for this event," Haywood noted.
Some of the money raised from the Nov. 17 concert will go to the Johnsons' Emerging Eagles Program.
"It's a Christmas program for underprivileged kids," Haywood said. "Some of our kids will be able to apply."
Chris is the general manager/editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .