Students at Rockdale Academy recently honored some of our country’s most iconic African American leaders with a special Black History Month program that included singing, dancing and skits, as well as African drumming and tribal dance.
The Rockdale Rockets, Cincinnati Public Schools’ only elementary school gymnastics and tumbling team, also performed for parents and community members. The group is under the direction of Mrs. Sherrell Kahr, a Rockdale staff member.
Principal Belinda Tubbs-Wallace welcomed everyone with a reminder that although February is the shortest month of the year, it’s important to recognize black history year-round.
“At Rockdale, we don’t want to just teach our children, we also want to help them grow,” said Wallace. “When we grow them, we grow us.”
The program’s performances honored African American figures including Garrett Morgan, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ruby Bridges. Katherine Johnson, physicist and mathematician whose calculations were critical to the success of NASA’s first manned spaceflight, was also among those whose achievements were celebrated. Johnson also happens to have a special connection to Rockdale Academy – English Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher Jacqueline Allen is Johnson’s great niece.
Rockdale’s entire student body closed the program with a rendition of “Something Inside So Strong.” Principal Wallace asked students to share which lyrics from the song resonated with them the most.
“I really like the part that says, ‘you hide behind the walls of Jericho,’” said Javez, a sixth-grade student. “I was afraid to give my speech to everyone. When I heard that part of the song, it made me feel like I could go out and do it.”
Keep up with the great things happening at Rockdale Academy at rockdaleacademy.cps-k12.org.