CIS students present Black History Month program
By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer
CALERA – Dressed in a black business suit and red tie, Calera Intermediate School student Emery Hopkins strode across the school’s auditorium stage to the microphone March 4 and introduced himself as United States President Barack Obama.
Hopkins, a fifth grader, was among nearly a dozen students who performed roles of famous black Americans in the school’s Black History Month program at 2 p.m.
“I think it was truly important because we represented most black people around the world,” Hopkins said after the program, which was rescheduled from Feb. 26 because of inclement weather.
Third grader Zorah Bell played the part of Rosa Parks, a Civil Rights activist who would not give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus.
Bell said she enjoyed bringing excitement to the audience.
“When you came on stage, people knew you,” Bell said.
Other black Americans highlighted for their accomplishments were Booker T. Washington, Wilma Rudolph, Gabby Douglas, Cam Newton, George Washington Carver and Martin Luther King Jr.
CIS teacher Lindsey Irvin oversaw the program and said students in third through fifth grades created and performed each part of the program, including the oral biographies, a multimedia presentation, a song and a step dance.
“Everything is student-directed,” Irvin said. “They even made the sets. They had a good time.”
The fifth grade choir sang a song called “Get on Board.”
“My favorite part about it was when we did our step dance because I think all of us worked really hard to be in there,” third grader Molly Lawley said.
Fourth grader Aeryn Busby said she liked speaking the part of U.S. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas.
“I like gymnastics, and I like her,” Busby said.
Fifth grader Chauncey Collins performed in the step dance and introduced the choir.
“(The program) showed that African Americans represent our history,” Collins said.
Third grader Layla Miller’s parents were present to see her perform the part of Sarah Breedlove, also known as Madam C.J. Walker, who was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire with her specialized hair products.
“It was my second time being on stage,” Miller said, noting she was nervous before she spoke.
Irvin said other CIS faculty members who helped with the program were Courtney Banks, Meredith Giangrosso, Hannah McEwan (taught step dance), Jamie Howell (fifth grade choir) and Tina Minor.