Community conversation with: Mr. Woodard
BY SHANICE WILLIAMS, ALEX McDUFFIE, BREANNA BOUEY, DANIECE CURRY and SHAWNTEZE KING Fourth grade staff writers Dederick Woodard is a motivational speaker who calls himself a dream coach and likes to rap. Mr. Woodard talked to Manatee Messenger journalists in September about how to make their dreams a reality and how to reach their goals in life. “I try to connect people with their goals,’’ he said. “I am a dream coach.’’ Mr. Woodard likes to talk about fire and water. He calls fire the situation and the water is the solution. For example, he said, if you have a fire on your stove it will spread if you don’t pour water on it. When you do put water on it, he said, it goes away. If students think of a problem like an argument is fire, the solution is talking it out and expressing your feelings, Mr. Woodard said. Mr. Woodard, 40, has written two books and is starting a third one. He grew up in St. Petersburg and attended four elementary schools, graduating from Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School and Northeast High School. He attended St. Petersburg College and is an adjunct professor there now. He also teaches rap classes. When he talked about actor and martial artist Bruce Lee, Mr. Woodard shouted, “Ka!’’ He said that stands for knowledge and action that you need to be successful in life. Scientists and reporters are a lot alike because they study things and write down their observations, Mr. Woodard said. At the end of the press conference, Mr. Woodard turned on his beat box and started to rap about his experience answering the reporters’ questions. “Listen, listen, listen,’’ he rapped. “Open your ears.’’ Mr. Woodard’s message: Listening is good advice for succeeding in school and in life. To watch a clip of Mr. Woodard’s rap, go to pcsb.org/manateemessenger
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