Tampa Bay Buccaneers

King Has a Dream

Buccaneer quarterback Shaun King wants to teach area children about civil rights

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QB Shaun King wants to pass on knowledge of civil rights struggles to area kids

Ask an NFL football player what he plans to do after his playing career has ended, and you will likely get one of the common (and worthwhile) answers: broadcasting, coaching, business, pursuing additional degrees.

Shaun King has a different vision.

The starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wants to start his own school. King, in fact, has already begun his education initiative, and though his own school may be a project for the future, he is ready to make a difference in the lives of local children right now.

For King, the first step in this process is an education-based program that will teach kids about civil rights and the struggles various people have gone through to secure them. The program, fittingly, is called "King's Dream"; it will kick off on Tuesday, October 24 from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Academy Prep Center for Education in St. Petersburg.

King's program will involve teaching students about civil rights, beginning with such topics as the United States Civil Rights Movement, colonialism, slavery and the U.S. Civil War. The program will not be limited to the United States or the triumphs of African-Americans, however. The students will also learn about civil rights struggles around the world and will discuss the Holocaust, Japanese internment camps during World War II and the controversies in such areas as Bosnia, Kosovo, Rhwanda and Northern Ireland.

Approximately 20 students will attend 12 classes at Academy Prep, where they will be required to perform various research and writing assignments on the above topics. King has formed a committee, composed of the Head Master, director of marketing and development and various teachers from Academy Prep, and members of the local chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice, that will teach the lessons.

The King's Dream program will conclude in April with an educational trip through the South. King has tentatively scheduled stops in cities such as Atlanta, Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama.

King's own dream will reach far beyond this year, however. He is as passionate about making a difference in the lives of local youth as he is about professional football.

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