Susan B. Anthony “Failure is Impossible”
During a classroom discussion, Miss Duffy asks her third-graders to think about what they want to be when they grow up. Several students respond with ambitious goals, including Jessica, who hopes to be president someday.
As the class embarks on a field trip to a local historical site, they find themselves doing more than traveling across town…they’re taking a trip back in time. At the home of Susan B. Anthony, they are greeted by a tour guide who pretends to be the activist herself. When she takes the students through the historic home, they learn a lesson about equality and one woman’s struggle to earn the right to vote.
By the time they leave, they realize how an understanding of the present is gained through a study of the past. No one is more influenced by the visit then Jessica, who now knows that by working hard for what she believes in, she can become anything she chooses to be.
Frederick Douglass “With Struggle Comes Progress”
When a young boy named Josh struggles with his reading assignment, he gets a surprise visit from someone right out of his textbook. Josh is daydreaming in class one day when Frederick Douglass appears to him and explains how he had to sneak his reading and writing lessons. At first Josh doesn’t understand why someone would feel so strongly about learning to read, but he soon discovers how this life skill helped his new friend plan his escape from slavery.
Even after he was free, Mr. Douglass tells Josh that he still used to worry about being caught and forced back into slavery. But that didn’t stop him from spending his whole life working to help other slaves become free, by giving powerful speeches and publishing an important newspaper.
When Josh awakes from his daydream, he eagerly shares his knowledge of Frederick Douglass with his classmates. When his teacher assigns more reading for homework, Josh doesn’t complain. Thanks to Mr. Douglass, he now understands the importance of reading…and the positive change it can bring about.