Historical figures come to life at J.R. Ingram 'wax museum'

Mar. 28—Students at J.R. Ingram Elementary School got a first-hand look at some of the nation's historical people — including Albert Einstein, Babe Ruth, Kobe Bryat and Amelia Earhart to name a few.

Sonja Labounty's fifth-grade AIG class presented the Living Wax Museum on March 20.

The event was billed as a "biographical interactive wax museum" where other students could learn about the person by "pushing a button" attached to a trifold decorated board. The historical figure would then speak and tell his or her story.

The students chose their characters.

"They've done the research and wrote their speech," Labounty said.

James Richard Sprouse, 11, portrayed the late Kobe Bryant, the legendary basketball player and member of the Los Angeles Lakers. When the button was pushed, Sprouse provided a brief synopsis of Bryant's career and the helicopter crash in which he and his 13-year-old daughter were killed.

Sprouse chose Bryant "because I like basketball and this is what I want to do when I grow up," he said.

Lexi Davidson, 10, chose Amelia Earhart, the pioneer aviator of the 1920s and '30s who became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. She was a supporter of women's rights and set other aviation records.

In 1937, Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, were attempting to fly around the world when the plane disappeared over Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean. No wreckage or remains were found.

Until recently, Davidson said. There have been recent reports that the plane has been found deep in the ocean, Davidson noted.

Grecia Giron, 12, portrayed Daisy Bates, an African American woman from Arkansas who, along with her husband, published "The Arkansas State Press," a newspaper in that highlighted the movement to end segregation. That included the Little Rock Nine — nine African American students chosen by Bates who were the first to enter Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

She served as president of the Arkansas chapter of the NAACP and later served on the organization's national board.

Other figures portrayed included legendary baseball player Babe Ruth; Neil Armstrong, the NASA astronaut who was the first man to walk on the moon; and Rosa Parks, the civil rights activist who refused to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.