Mt. Vernon Register-News

February 19, 2013

Students prepare black history event

By TESA GLASS
tesa.glass@register-news.com

MT. VERNON — — Students from District 80 will be celebrating Black History Month on Thursday with a special program for the public.

"The students are really excited about the program," said Dr. Dee Ann Schnautz, District 80 director of curriculum, instruction and assessment.

The program is part of a collaborative effort between District 80, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts and community members. It will feature art work and poetry from students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

"The project is based on the book, 'Dave the Potter,'" Schnautz explained. "He was a slave, an artist and a poet. He was an actual slave who made large pots with verses on them. We worked to weave the story and the activity together."

Art supplies were provided through a grant, and Carrie Gibbs and Cortez Hodges of Cedarhurst helped students learn the art of throwing pots.

"Cortez did demonstrations in all the buildings," Schnautz said. "He showed the students what it would have been like for Dave the Potter to throw pots. While he was doing the demonstrations, the Technology Club took video, and they have put together a presentation that will be shown at the program."

The Third Grade Choir will be performing as well as the J.L. Buford Choir and the Casey Middle School Orchestra.

"This is the first time the Buford Choir and the Casey Orchestra have collaborated on a performance," Schnautz said. "They will be performing a song written by teacher Greg Backes."

The dance team will be performing a work entitled, "The Journey,"

"The Minority Affairs and Human Relations Commission have sponsored a poetry contest for students in third through eighth grade," Schnautz said. "The students will be reading their poetry and prizes for the top ones will be awarded."

In addition, the Community Action Award will be presented to Ally Dyer.

"Last year we received a donation from Shannon Green for the award," Schnautz said. "The award is for one student of District 80 who has made a difference in the community. She will receive $25 for the award."

The program will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Casey Middle School Gym.