By David Wade

BOSTON (CBS) — Some Boston Celtics star power helped inspire kids to read and remember the struggles of the past during this Black History Month. Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, just back in town after a win against Atlanta, met with school kids Tuesday for a “Read to Achieve” session.

About 30 students from the Everett Elementary School in Dorchester burst into applause at the Auerbach Center in Brighton as Brown entered the room. They read “Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race” together. It’s a story about the groundbreaking achievement of four African American mathematicians during a time of segregation and sexism, how they persevered, battled adversity, and worked with NASA to put the first man on the moon.

“Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math, really good,” Brown read.

Celtics player Jaylen Brown read “Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race” to Everett Elementary school students (WBZ-TV)

The students took turns reading as well, but the discussion afterward was most memorable.

“You guys are going to experience adversity at some point, and my biggest advice is to keep going,” Brown told the students.

“I hope they think that the possibilities are endless, that they set their minds to things and push through adversity, that they can get to their objectives or their goals,” Brown said.

“This experience has been very fun, inspiring and kind of emotional,” said fourth-grader Stephon Bell.

Student Bryanna Dasilva said: “I think the message was if something is hard for you, to keep trying.”

After the discussion, the kids decorated flags to illustrate their feelings. And just like the astronauts planted the flag during the first moon landing, the young people crafted their flags to stake out their own, bright futures.

“What I learned in that book was working really hard. So now I want to work really hard,” said fourth-grader Nicolas Lobue.

The Read to Achieve program was also sponsored by Southern New Hampshire University.

David Wade

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