Maya Angelou said “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.. Kindergarten teacher, Azel “Zel” Prather Jr. is making sure his students remember their first teacher by going the extra mile to help them feel seen and special.
This week Zel launched his “Holiday Hook-up” self-care Day for 40 kindergarten students at his school in Washington, DC. A natural connector and influencer in the nation’s capital, Zel tapped his network to identify hair stylists, barbers, nail techs and other volunteers to assist him in with pampering his students for the day.
I’m doing a self care day at my school for my students! Shoutout to all the people jay donated their time and skills! Haircuts, hair braided, and nails done. Ima keep y’all updated but yeah. I’m geeked up. ThePratherFoundation pic.twitter.com/wIxh40tGzM— 🏁 SC/IG: Hail_Zel (@Hail_Zel) December 18, 2019
Because of Them We Can spoke to Zel to learn why going beyond the call of duty is important to him.
“Students have to know someone who looks like them and talks like them, and cares about them…inside and out of the classroom.”
According to Zel, the parents were extremely grateful. He shared on his Twitter account that some parents don’t have the resources while others may not have the time.
Equipped with fingernail polish, edge control, combs, brushes, hair bows, beads and smiles, Zel and his team performed makeovers that had a visible impact on the students.
“I believe if you look good, you feel good and if you feel good, you do good. I just want them to feel good for the holidays,” he told BOTWC.
As a fourth year kindergarten teacher and the executive director of The Prather Foundation, Zel’s mission is to provide young people from underserved communities with the resources they need to become successful leaders.
In addition to the self-care day, Zel also hosts an annual “Zelf on the Shelf” Toy Drive where his foundation partners with primary schools to provide gifts to students for the holidays.
I hate to keep bombarding y’all with pictures but check my man out this morning 😂 He got his haircut yesterday and he still got it 😂🖤🖤 pic.twitter.com/aPwXYqariH— 🏁 SC/IG: Hail_Zel (@Hail_Zel) December 19, 2019
Zel, we love this and we love you for doing it!
To learn more about The Prather Foundation or to support, please visit pratherfoundation.org