Schools Around Province Celebrate Black History Month

Maria Hayes Around the Province

Tamara Gibbs had an important message for the students of Immaculata School in Durham, N.C.

“African American history is part of all of our histories,” the ABC/WTVD 11 news correspondent told the children when she spoke at Immaculata on Feb. 8 for Black History Month.  Immaculata and several other schools around the Province commemorated Black History month with a series of presentations, festivals and other activities that brought to life the culture’s vibrant history.

After Gibbs gave her speech, Immaculata students participated in a “colorful, artistic, music-filled, lively and tasty Heritage Festival” with their teachers, family and community members. Other highlights from the school’s celebration included a performance by Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on Feb. 10.

“This year’s celebration is touted by many as the best year ever!” according to the Feb. 22 issue of Immaculata’s newsletter.

In Maryland, students at Saint Francis International School made their own music during a African American Heritage celebration on Feb. 26. A video of one of the songs performed by the school choir is available on SFIS’sFacebook page.

Two days later, SFIS students hosted storyteller Janice the Griot, who specializes in African, African American and multicultural tales. “She gave phenomenal storytelling presentations to the school. She capped off a wonderful Black History and African American Heritage month-long celebration,” according to the school’s Facebook page.

Further south, students at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School in Greenville, S.C., told their classmates stories about their favorite black history maker during a PTO Black History Month program. The children dressed up as people such as Mary McLeod Bethune and musician Miles Davis, pictured above, and presented facts about their lives and accomplishments. Photos from the event are viewable on the school’s Facebook page.

The 5th and 6th graders participated in a Black History Month arts and social studies infusion program. The students learned the artistic techniques of collaging and had the opportunity to create their own collages that expressed their dreams for a better world. All of the students’ personal collages were joined together into a larger collage, which formed an image of President Barack Obama. The collage will be sent to the president, according to Susan Cinquemani, a member of St. Anthony of Padua’s mission advancement team.

 Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.