Main Menu

Explore More


Fridley Public Schools
Keenan Jones

The Fridley Moore Lake Area Learning Center (ALC) welcomed local educator and author Keenan Jones as a guest speaker on Wednesday, October 4. Students from English teacher Jenny DeMars’ and social studies teacher Greg Miller’s classes listened as Jones spoke about his background as an Osseo prep basketball star, his achievements as a teacher and writer, and his advice to students.

“Everybody has a story. I think that’s what makes us unique as humans. Your story is different from your story,” Jones said, pointing to students in the classroom. “But it’s your story, and nobody can take that away from you. That’s why I encourage you to write, even if it’s just for fun.”

Jones also talked about his upcoming book, “Saturday Morning at the ‘Shop,” a story about a young Black boy’s experiences at the barbershop. It’s Jones’ first children’s picture book and is set to release in fall 2024.

After Jones told his story to the scholars in attendance, they had the opportunity to ask him questions about his views on education, his writing career, and cultural events.

When one student asked his opinion on the role of literacy in the school-to-prison pipeline, specifically for young Black men, Jones replied: “I feel like we have to do whatever we can to get books in the hands of families early on. Because in America literacy is the key to making something of yourself.”

DeMars was ecstatic to have Jones speak to her children’s literature class about writing and his unconventional path to becoming a published author.

“His message about the importance of literacy and education is what I hoped might inspire students to keep going with their goals toward graduation and to continue their educations beyond high school,” DeMars said.

The ALC students also made an impact on Jones.

“It was an honor to have the opportunity to speak to such a wonderful group of young people,” he reflected after the event.