Through the pages of a book, children are able to experience events and conditions that are outside of their own personal experiences. Books can aid children in developing an appreciation for other parts of the world and other cultures.


Preschoolers at the Gulf County Child Development Center were treated to a special day and time when members of R.A. Driesbach, Sr. Lodge #77 Knights of Pythias spent time reading aloud to them.


In conjunction with Black History Month the Knights read the book Hair Love to preschoolers on Thursday, Feb. 13.


The book is about an African-American dad attempting to style his young daughter Zuri's hair for the first time. Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her — and her hair — happy.


The students were also treated to a hands-on experience of African Wooden Hand Carved Tribal Art Sculptures. Each child also received a personal Valentine from the Knights


Hair Love was written by Matthew A. Cherry and illustrated by Vashti Harrison. Matthew Cherry is a former NFL wide receiver who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens. He's since gone on to direct music videos, feature films and short films, including Hair Love, on which this book is based. The book was published in 2019. Hair Love also won Best Animated Short Film At 2020 Oscars.


Vashti Harrison is the author-illustrator of the New York Times bestselling picture book Little Leaders; Bold Women in Black History, which is also a NAACP Image Award