Today guest blogger is Madison Gordon from the PS 83 Bain & Co team serving in East Harlem. Madison serves as the Math Coordinator on her team and will be attending University of California, Berkeley in the fall. We got to attend an event at her school recently that celebrated Black History Month and asked her to write an event recap for us!
On Thursday, February 16th, the PS 83 Bain & Co Team put together their Black History Month Spirit Assembly. Every month City Year puts on an assembly for the students, teachers, and administration of PS 83 to highlight their pillar of the month. With February came the pillar of kindness as well as Black History Month so City Year put on a memorable, insightful, and inspiring assembly highlighting dedication to kindness, many prominent African Americans, and some of PS 83’s very own students!
The assembly opened up with the PS 83 Special Chorus singing a soulful rendition of the American spirituals “We Shall Overcome” and “Lift Every Voice”. Next were four members of Def Jam – the City Year afterschool poetry club – for a reading of Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. They performed with poise and passion, and received immense praise from their peers:
“I thought they did a great job. I can’t believe they memorized their speeches so well and I loved how they performed it. They were awesome!” – Nelson Torres, student at PS 83
The assembly continued as City Year played a game titled “Who Wants To Be…” in which City Year would ask students if they want to be a certain profession and then highlight an African American pioneer in that field. Those featured included Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, Ella Fitzgerald and Jackie Robinson. Students began to see that the people most successful in their field are often also the kindest. Whether through charities, foundations, or the message they preached, these Americans promoted kindness in our nation and changed it for the better.
PS 83 continues to celebrate Black History Month through February. Motivating quotations are posted around the school and City Year’s bulletin board has been converted to feature a new famous African American every week. Students in the City Year after school program will also be reading “Sounder” by William H. Armstrong. “Sounder” is about a young African American boy who hungers for an education even when it is denied from him.
The staff and City Year at PS 83 are extremely proud of their students. They hope the Black History Month celebrations will motivate their students to emulate the kindness displayed by many prominent African-Americans throughout history.