Dr. E.L Whigham Elementary School in Cutler Bay recently presented a tribute to African-American Heritage as a part of its ongoing curriculum of integrating the importance of the contributions of those of African-American descent to our modern culture.
In the classrooms many students chose a famous Black American and completed an individual project highlighting the life, struggles, inventions and contributions of their selected person of merit. In other classrooms, students made creative African masks, which were placed on display in the Media Center.
During the school-wide Black History Assembly conducted on the morning of Feb. 20 and again at the PTA meeting on the evening of Feb. 27, the Whigham Chorus, under the direction of Katie Burdick, highlighted the important influence of African-Americans in our music. The chorus presented a variety of selections including a spiritual-style song, a jazzy recorder selection and a boogie-woogie- style recorder selection.
Also a select group of 12 students presented an Alvin Ailey-inspired dance to Rocka My Soul choreographed by Beverly Armstrong, retired physical education/dance teacher. In addition, several students who participated recently in the district-wide Oratorical Contest dramatically gave their recitation of a poem or reading written by an African-American. Dionnie P. Desilva, Whigham’s Teacher of the Year, led this endeavor.
During the school-wide assembly, numerous students, faculty and staff members participated in a fashion show donning traditional African dress. The chorus wore Kufi hats and scarves displaying the colors used in many flags and emblems of African countries.
“Our school is proud to present its annual celebration of Black History Month,” said Whigham’s principal Susan Lyle. “Through the varied studies, research, activities and musical presentations, our students recognize and understand the valuable contributions African-Americans have made to our society.”