Mr. John Taylor a.k.a. The Kinderman, is a three Time Emmy Award winning host, and former co-producer of ABC, Channel 2’s It’s Kindertime, and The Kinderman Show. Master Artist-in-Education with Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, and known as the “Pied piper of dance,” he has conducted interactive performances and workshops, for hundreds of thousands of students, families and teachers at schools and conferences around the country. He has been teaching and performing for over 25 years.
Celebrating the Black Hall of Fame with The Kinderman
As a former public school teacher turned artist in education in the early 1980’s, John “Kinderman” Taylor developed an interactive program called Kindercise: A Moving and Chanting Approach to Learning as a powerful new learning modality. He discovered that children’s love of learning was increased when they were actively involved in the process. He saw that kids needed to move – and loved music and singing as a way of learning and retaining a concept. The impulse to move was a natural part of human development– and Kindercise was as a way of harnessing that movement impulse in the service of creating a fun and engaging learning environment.
Kinderman performed at assemblies and conducted residencies in schools throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. During that time, Ms. Ann Brooks, the principal of Moravia Park Primary in Baltimore Maryland, applied for a grant from a program which provided funds for education excellence. Impressed by the success of the Kindercise program, she contacted Kinderman, and asked him to develop a Black history program for her 3rd grade classes.
She wanted her students to be able to study Black History all year long – instead of just during the month of February, known as Black History Month. Kinderman worked with local musicians and artists to develop this new interactive program which he called The Black Hall of Fame. Following the Kindercise model, the Black Hall of Fame program engages students, visually, orally, auditorily and kinesthetically using a blend of upbeat rhythms and original songs containing facts about familiar and little known African Americans whose contributions predated the 21st century. Students are guided to play the Hall of Fame match game, where they match the 24 fact cards with the pictures of the person described.
As the decades pass more and more notable contributions to building and informing American culture have been made by African American men and women. The Hall of Fame has expanded to include 36 late 20th and 21st century Hall of Famers. This program offers seed information for individual learners, homeschoolers and educators to begin a deeper exploration into each of the individuals introduced. The Black Hall of Fame endures 35 years later, eventually growing into a curriculum storytelling kit, which includes a DVD, CD, workbook, match games, and charts. There are no limits to this Hall of Fame program as contributions of African Americans continues to grow as well as learning opportunities.