LES Class Creative Writing Project
By Mr. Ambrose’s 5th Grade Students & Mrs. Stahl’s 5th Grade Writing Project
Editor’s note: Alonzo Clemons is an artist with a remarkable background who visited the students at Lyons Elementary School last month. As a toddler, Clemons suffered a head injury in an accident; this changed the way he thinks, learns and communicates. While much was lost due to the injury, something miraculous also occurred, for as Clemons sometimes puts it, “God gave a gift.” His sculptural specialty is the creation of animal figures, full of life and spirit, which are made with amazing speed, great accuracy in form and artistic beauty. Clemons works in wax and clay, using only his hands and fingernails to create his sculptures. Joy radiates from him as he sculpts.
Eitan P. – I was inspired by Alonzo Clemons to send more money to people that need help and also don’t judge a book by its cover. Also just because you need help doesn’t mean you aren’t good at everything. Because of what happened to Alonzo Clemons he got a gift. The gift was to be an amazing sculptor. So many amazing things can actually happen to you if you need help. So never judge a book by its cover.
Chris R. – A few weeks ago a man named Alonzo Clemons came to my school and showed us how his accident changed his life. Now he can make some of the best clay sculptures. I learned there is almost always a good side about accidents. And to not judge a book by their cover.
Erick A. – What I learned from him is that you got to be careful around the world. It’s a dangerous place. But sometimes it’s good to have differences such as not being able to read, write, or do math. Something you should be happy about is you’re able to do all those things. But you never know it might be cool.
Martine L. – When Alonzo Clemons came to our school, I learned that even disabled people can have exceptional lives, and skill. Alonzo inspired me to stretch outside of my boundaries and go for it!
Liam H. – What I learned from Alonzo Clemons was he inspired me to keep going forward. Even though you have disabilities you can still do thing even if it might be a little hard. Also he made some awesome sculptures.
Sierra H. – Alonzo Clemons came to our school a week ago. I learned from Alonzo Clemons that you can have disabilities and be really good at something. It inspired me by helping people that have disabilities.
Nick B. – Alonzo Clemons came to our school a few weeks ago, and it was very inspiring. I learned that he had an accident when he was small and got a brain injury. So I also learned not to judge someone by just looking at them, you actually have to meet them. I was also inspired in a way. I will think differently about people with brain injuries or people who were born differently. I won’t judge them right when I see them.
Ike K. – After Alonzo Clemons came to our school I learned just because some people are different doesn’t mean they can’t do something amazing. Alonzo Clemons has inspired me to sculpt because I had seen what you can do with clay and moldings. I think Alonzo Clemons work is amazing.
Erykah A. – A couple weeks ago a man named Alonzo Clemons came to our school and spoke. He inspired me to never give up and it’s okay to be different. Alonzo Clemons had a brain injury since he was a toddler and still is an amazing person and artist. And now I will definitely never give up!
Hailey J. – A couple of weeks ago a very nice man came to talk to the 5th and 4th graders about his life. His name was Alonzo Clemons. He taught me that it is okay to be different. He inspired me to live my dreams. I hope everyone will try to be themselves.
Olivia C. – A few months ago Alonzo Clemons came to my school! He has had a brain injury ever since he was a toddler. I was touched, and he taught me that if you try hard enough you will succeed. I was also taught not to judge a book by its cover. He inspired me to go out and live my dreams and to never give up.
Katie F. – I learned that even if someone has a disability they can bring something special to the world. Alonzo Clemons, he is someone with a disability, got in an accident, but something good came of it; he could sculpt very good, and without learning! I was inspired by Alonzo Clemons to not be mean to anyone with disabilities, and I will tell people who are bullying others not to bully.
River A. - After listening to Alonzo Clemons tell the story of his childhood accident I realized that we have it really good. I think that after that story we all came away much more grateful and respectful people. I was inspired to have more sympathy towards people with disabilities. I also believe that if you do have disabilities you can still be very happy. In conclusion I believe that after listening to him we have all become better people.
Quin W. – A few weeks ago, Alonzo Clemons visited my class. I learned that people who are . . . DIFFERENT have challenging lives, but they have amazing gifts. He inspired me never to think “he/she’s weird” about anybody ever. Alonzo Clemons is a great misunderstood person.
Katie F. – After hearing Alonzo Clemons’ story I learned that just because you’re different doesn’t mean you’re not normal. He inspired me to not judge people before I get to know them.
Harrison A. – I thought Alonzo Clemons was very inspirational. He taught me that even if you have a disability you can still have a really cool life. Also you can still excel at a talent that you love to do. I was inspired that if I ever get a disability I will still keep going on with my life.
Nathan G. – I learned that no matter how bad something seems, something good can come out of it. I also learned that no matter what state you may be in you can push forward. I got inspired by Alonzo to do my art and never make fun of someone with disabilities ever!
Maya L. – After we saw Alonzo Clemons I learned that something good always comes out of anything. I also learned to never judge a book by its cover. I was inspired to try to maybe sculpt. I was also inspired to help the people with disabilities.
Emily V. – After Alonzo Clemons visited our classroom, I realized that people with disabilities still can live effective lives. I was amazed that he could make such beautiful sculptures. I learned from him that some people may be great at some things, but not so good at other things. Alonzo inspired me to think differently about people with disabilities.
Isabel T. – From Alonzo Clemons’ talk I learned that even people that have disabilities or people that have had an accident like Alonzo can have a joyful life and come back to fairly normal life. For instance Alonzo use clay and pastel all the time and other people are probably on the same boat as Alonzo. Also I was inspired by him by his artwork and to do more art of my own which frankly I’ve been doing a lot of. Alonzo is an amazing man.
Forest G. – Alonzo Clemons sounded like a very inspiring person. The thing about him that was most inspiring was his brain injury. The reason it was so inspiring was after all that he started to make beautiful art. I have had many obstacles in my life, most are very personal so he didn’t change any thing. What I learned from Alonzo is that good comes from bad.
Kylie B. – I was most inspired by the way Alonzo could shape an animal out of clay in about ten minutes. Mr. Clemons can get all the details on every single animal he makes. I would like to buy his artwork sometime.
Trenton B. – What inspired me in Mr. Clemons visit was even if you have disabilities you can find a way to find something you’re good at and enjoy. That’s what inspired me about Mr. Clemons.
Kellan D. – What inspired me about Alonzo Clemons, is to never give up and make the most of your life. Because even though he had brain damage when he was a young boy that enabled him to work with clay. His injury didn’t disable him like you might’ve thought; it opened new doors so he could do something new! I thought meeting him was amazing, because he’s such a good sculptor. He probably wouldn’t have been if it weren’t for the accident.
Alora C, - Alonzo Clemons inspires me because he got in a bad accident from hitting his head and he got brain damage. Alonzo is so inspirational because he can make really cool animals in a short amount of time. Something good came out of his injury. To me Alonzo Clemons was an amazing thing to able to do. Alonzo taught me if you get hurt or are in an accident, something good can come out of it. He also taught me you shouldn’t think of bad things that happen to you, but only the good things that happen to you.
Mara W. – I was inspired mostly when, Alonzo got in the accident including his brain, and how it physically and mentally affected his life. It inspired me because I want a lot of stuff, for example an iphone, ipad, and ipod, Alonzo may not get a lot of chances with a whole bunch of electronics like that. When I was watching Alonzo I noticed he was very patient. I wish I was a little bit more like Alonzo because my mom is always getting on me about being patient. I am inspired to be less greedy and more patient.
Dallas D. – What most inspired me about Alonzo is he has moved on from his injury. Also he doesn’t live in the past he lives in the present. This shows me that anything can happen and you have got to just be who you are. If I had an obstacle Alonzo would have inspired me to try hard and never give up. What I’ve learned from Alonzo is that anything can happen and to push your way through it, and may be something good can come out of it.
Colton B. – Alonzo inspired me big time. The day I got home from school after Alonzo came I asked to buy clay. He makes shaping clay look easy. So I wanted to give it a try. It’s a lot harder than it looks. From that day forward I will always remember something when I fall down I got to get back up. Then I maybe rewarded like he was.
Alexa K. – I was inspired by Alonzo because he taught me to never give up. When he was told to stop playing with the clay and do other things he would give up. He kept looking for other things to sculpt with because that’s something he loved to do. An obstacle in my life was when my parents got divorced. I went through a really hard time. I felt really sad. Now I feel much better.
Cormac O. – I was really inspired by Alonzo because he had a lot of disabilities because when he was a kid he hit his head but he got something out of it. He could sculpt clay really well but it was mostly animals. Those disabilities did not stop him. And I learned that if you complain about a small problem it’s nothing compared to something like Alonzo’s problem.
Ellis A. – What Alonzo Clemons inspired me most about is that you should always be persistent and to not give up so easily. I am normally lazy and don’t want to do chores. But when I look at his life I think that I should really start being more mindful. And be more thankful for what I have. He also inspired me to work harder on things like art, sports, or chores. I learned from Alonzo that something great can come out of your disabilities.
Charlotte R. – I was most inspired when the girl who helps Alonzo told the story. I think it’s amazing how he one day just had this idea to make clay animals, and turned out really good at it. He helped me understand that giving up wasn’t an option in the life that you have. When he came in he made me feel amazed. I’ve never met a person like this and I think it was kind of interesting that I did.
Taylor M. – I was most inspired by how Alonzo Clemons hit his head when he was little and then he just started sculpting with clay and drawing with oil pastels. I learned that people could easily hit their head but then something great could come out of it just like what happened with Alonzo Clemons. I also learned that being different is okay. That’s what inspired me most.
Hailey P. – What I was most inspired about Alonzo Clemons was that even though he’s had hard times he pushed through them to do other things like have more than one job. What Alonzo Clemons taught me was that if you’ve had accidents push though, be happy! When I met him it was really cool because he can sculpt animals in a few minutes and that’s a feature that most humans don’t have, and that’s what I thought of Alonzo Clemons.
Raina R. – Alonzo Clemons had a brain injury, but he could make great clay sculptures! He never gave up on his dream. He loved clay. He did not get a lot of money, but he got a good amount of it. He did not care, he just loved clay.
Sage T. – Alonzo Clemons inspired me to never give up. He is so amazing (the way he sculpts) and he never gave up! Alonzo followed his dream to sculpt even if people tried to take that away. But the big thing is Alonzo never gave up. Alonzo taught me to follow his dreams and now he’s a sculptor. Alonzo is a great man who followed his dreams and he always looked at the bright side.
Addyson H. – Alonzo Clemons is a very inspirational person. When Alonzo was young, he hit his head very hard and it damaged his brain. Now, Alonzo is an amazing sculptor. The way he makes animals, small replicas, was very inspirational. His mother believes that by hitting his head he had made an absolutely wonderful change in his life. I love to work with different medias in art, especially clay. To see Mr. Clemons work his magic made me so inspired. I kept wanting to hear more. I couldn’t keep my eyes off his quarter horse or the bull (longhorn?), it was so realistic. My cousin Conrad drowned in a pool when he was a couple months old. He damaged his brain as well, but he can’t really walk or talk. His injury and Alonzo’s injury are important in my life now. I love to cheer people like them up. Alonzo taught me that even if you have a bad accident in your life, something amazing can come out of it.