Schools throughout the district took time during classroom lessons and in special programs to commemorate and celebrate Black History Month during the month of February. Above, Linden High School students take a bow at the end of their “Tributes to Black History” program.
Students and staff at Linden High School presented “Tributes to Black History,” a night of music, dance and education on Feb. 15.
The night featured performances by the Madrigals, Dance Company, Poetry Club, Drama Club, and FAB Fashion Club.
The guest speaker was Stephanie James Harris, executive director at Amistad Commission of the New Jersey Department of Education. She told the audience about notable African-Americans from Union County, particularly Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe, who challenged racial and gender barriers and helped reform education throughout her life. She hailed from Cranford.
The program was capped off by a moving tribute to legendary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, sung beautifully by LHS secretary Terri Todd, accompanied by English teacher Greg Stier on guitar and David Chapman on piano. LHS senior Shanelle King performed a dance performance alongside Ms. Todd’s vocals. The segment was introduced by LHS senior Asia Todd, who read a biography of Fitzgerald.
At School No. 5, students paid tribute to Black History Month on Feb. 13 with music, dance, a skit, and a “funky good time” celebration of the TV show “Soul Train.”
Fifth-graders performed a skit in which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Corretta Scott King come back to life to visit President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama at the White House.
Other performances include a fifth-grade praise dance to “Glory” by John Legend and Common, the “Black National Anthem” sung by the school chorus, a traditional African dance by the school’s cheerleaders, an educational segment about successful African-Americans, and spiritual songs by classroom aide Phyllis Bolden.
The program was organized by second-grade teacher Jacqueline Caughman.
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Linden Board of Education member Sheenaider Guillaume joined School No. 5 second-grader Kylie Reed is reciting a poem for Black History Month that was written by School No. 5 first-grade teacher Nanci Kobylarz. The two recited the poem at School No. 5′s Black History Month program, as well as at the Jan. 31 Board of Education meeting.
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Students in Karen Chase’s social studies classes at Soehl Middle School worked together in small groups to create Black History Month iMovie videos. Chase showed a video featuring the students and their projects at the Feb. 28 Board of Education meeting.
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School No. 2 staff and students dressed as African-American icons of the past and present. Those honored included Mai Jemison, Rebecca Crumpley, Muhammad Ali, Lena Horne, Barak Obama, Rosa Parks, Nina Simone, Martin Luther King and many others during the school’s assembly on “Heroes of the Underground Railroad.”
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The weekly School No. 8 SNN student news program for Feb. 26 featured segments on Black History Month.
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Soehl Middle School eighth-grader Courtney Mills won a radio for being chosen first place the Linden Recreation Department Black History Poster Contest. The theme was African-American TV shows, and her work focused on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” She is pictured with art teacher Leesa Faranda and Megan Martin of the Recreation Department.
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Spanish students and members of the Diversity Club at McManus Middle School demonstrated the evolution of African-American dance at World Language Family Night at Linden High School on March 1.
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Two step dancers from the Zeta Phi Beta sorority at Rutgers University visited Soehl Middle School on March 8 to entertain the eighth-grade class. Aanyse Pettiford Chandler and Whitney Cort performed and taught moves to students and staff.
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