Photo of Ky’Ale Lateef Eutsey walked into Paul Robeson Charter School in September of 2021 knowing one thing, COVID-19 has changed everything.
“The (only) thing that was going through my head was COVID, COVID, COVID…We had to wear masks and I thought kids would pass out from wearing masks all day long. This year was tragic and crazy, and it was a lot of scary things going on in the world” Ky’Ale said. Going through those experiences inspired Ky’Ale to write a book about the new rules while returning back to school.
“My thought process was at first was we might get sick or something bad could happen… And I felt that I wanted to write a book, about this moment. “ Ky’Ale said. So, he does what every 11-year-old kid does with an idea. He talked to his mom. “I went to my mom and said, Mom. I want to write a book. She said, what would it be about?” Ky’Ale said.
So, the planning started for the book:” Playground Chronicles presents Back to School the New Rules” It started with rough drafts and scattered ideas,” But I knew it was going to be about my friends and I going back to school during a pandemic.”, Ky’Ale said.
Ky’Ale’s mom, Denise “Kenya” Eutsey who currently works at The Boys and Girls Club as a Membership Director in Lawrence, NJ said, when her son came to her with the idea; she was so pleased with the idea and was happy to help. “I was excited… He does have a little story behind it.” She explained how a couple of years ago Ky’Ale was diagnosed with dyslexia it caused him to struggle with reading in school and he never wanted to read aloud which caused his grades to fall behind.
After a few discussions with his teachers and physicians, Ky’Ale’s parents decided to take Ky’Ale to see a specialist, where he was diagnosed with dyslexia.
The way Ky’Ale sees certain letters when he reads is a little different from how we read them and it was stunting the growth of his ability to comprehend and read on his age level. “What would be a “D” to us, would like a “B” to Ky’Ale and he would get very frustrated,” Kenya said.
Ky’Ale talked a bit about his diagnosis and how it affected him before realizing what going was on. “So basically, when I would try to read something, everything would look backward so I had problems spelling, reading, and understanding. I would be paying attention but I couldn’t remember what was being said it was like my brain was being delayed. I use to worry about my grades, especially when Christmas was coming,” Ky’Ale said, as his mom chuckled.
Though Kenya explained that the real change started once the pandemic hit “ ( I was) out of work and it was mom-now teacher. So, it was more of (Ky’Ale) and me, one on one and because of the one-on-one time, I was able to give Ky’Ale that attention that he needed to get through the school year. Ky’Ale made the honor roll every marking period,” Kenya said. I went back to work in December and his father stepped in for the remainder of the school year with finishing with honors. Ky’Ale was so confident and at this point where he was eager to read, “He would be like Mom let me read please, please”.
Kenya affirms that they are in a much better place than a couple of years ago with everything that happened. “What he went through before with embarrassment and no confidence he is no longer going through now. He makes fewer mistakes when he’s reading and his grades are still improving… I tell Ky’Ale he can be the next Albert Einstein, he was also dyslexic but was one of the most influential physicists of the 20th century, we are proud parents and see him changing the world someday.”
Though the pair isn’t done yet. “At first, I thought he would do one book and that would be it,” Kenya said. “But he wants to do another one so; we are now working on his second book. Sky is the limit for Ky’Ale and his father and I are very proud of him we see him going very far in life,” Kenya said.
Over the year, Ky’Ale has published his first book, founded his LLC called Playground Chronicles, and has even started his clothing brand. He dreams of interviews with top celebrity show host Nick Cannon, “Oh, I would say to him… Can you please promote my book and share it with other celebrities like, Drake Young Dylan and even Barack and Michele Obama or maybe one of my favorite You Tubers,” Kyale said.
Like any 11-year-old kid, he has the best answers for what you want to do in the future. “I want a lot of money, be rich, take care of my parents and get my dream car a Hellcat Charger:”
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