Meadow Lemon said that everyone is born to be a winner — something he learned from his Hall of Famer dad.
On Wednesday, March 2, Willamette Connections Academy, an online public school, kicked off National Reading Month by inviting Oregon celebrities and educators to host a story read-along.
Among other well-known faces, like reality television star Amy Roloff and Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters, Lemon, a football and career adviser at Lake Oswego High School, joined the cast and gave attendees a sneak peek at the series of children's books he will release shortly.
"Encouraging reading at all age levels is so important. We are thrilled to have so many prominent Oregon role models reading to our students for this special event," said Willamette Connections Academy teacher Ali Thomas, one of the main organizers for the event.
Lemon is the eldest son of the late Meadowlark Lemon, a basketball player for the Harlem Globetrotters who is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. And in honor of his dad, Lemon is producing a series of children's books that capture parts of Lemon's childhood and the lessons Lemon Sr. taught him.
"One thing my dad wanted to accomplish but never got to was writing kids' books," Lemon said. "I'm writing stories about me and my dad, and things we did together and some of the life lessons he taught me."
Through short stories under the series "Lemonade for the Soul," Lemon tells the tales of "an ordinary kid living an extraordinary life" by using characters built around him and his father, called Lil Lem and Legacy Lem.
During the March 2 read-along, Lemon previewed a short story from his first book where Legacy Lem teaches Lil Lem the difference between longitude and latitude.
"My dad was good at explaining things and meeting me where I was at … breaking it down on my level so I could understand (my homework)," he said.
Legacy Lem uses scenarios like where Lil Lem's seat is in his classroom to teach him about longitude, and the streetlights Legacy Lem's tour bus passes on road trips as indicators of latitude.
"That was one of the biggest lessons I remember. He was never home, but he was always able to help me with my schoolwork," Lemon said.
After his reading, Lemon told the virtual room of young children some other important lessons sourced from his father. One was to be humble and always try your hardest.
"We are all created to be winners. My dad taught me to use our gifts and talents to be blessings to others," Lemon said. "Don't let anybody block your blessing, even yourself. Don't ever let your mind tell you that you're not good enough, tall enough, small enough, or too young. Use your heart and that fire within you to accomplish your goals,"
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