If the visiting author at William B. Ward Elementary School read his picture book with a particularly engaging flair, there was good reason.
The author was actor John Amos, known of his roles in the 1970s TV show “Good Times,” the iconic TV miniseries “Roots” and the 1988 comedy “Coming to America.” On Monday, he read his book “A World without Color,” which he wrote with help from Lisa Figaro, a Spanish teacher at Ward. Figaro helped revise the book and translated it.
“I like the way Mr. Amos read it, with expression,” said fifth grader Kaylyn Howard.
Principal Franco Miele is a fan of Amos from “Good Times.” To hundreds of Ward students, Amos was the friendly visitor, generous with his time, who regaled them with the story of how acts of kindness bring color to the gray world of Bleakersville.
“The message is that acts of kindness can change everything for the better,” Amos said after reading the book in three assemblies. “They can make the world brighter and more cheerful. They have a way of dispelling the negative and the darkness.”
Figaro said the message and the story have meaning for her as a teacher, a parent and a lifelong New Rochelle resident.
“The goal of strengthening community and teaching students to be overall good people is something I strive for,” she said.
Ward will begin an #AmosColorKindness challenge by having students create posters that illustrate kindness. Fifth grader Kelechi Njoku said his poster would show someone helping someone pick up books they dropped.
He appreciated the clever way the story made its point, telling about a boy delivering letters who empathizes with each recipient.
“It displayed a sense of kindness in a very simple way,” Njoku said.