Preserving our roots

Image: LaJada Jackson mistress of ceremonies.

LaJada Jackson mistress of ceremonies. (Cindy Sutherland)

Thursday morning the cafeteria was full with students, teachers, family and friends celebrating Black History Month. With the help of the choir, students and guest speakers, it was a huge success.

LaJada Jackson was the mistress of ceremonies and really out did herself. She was very poised and spoke very clearly as she announced the events of the program.

The Stafford Choir was instrumental in making the program a success. They sang, Kumbaya, Let There be Peace on Earth and Walk a Mile. The choir sang with much enthusiasm as Felica Burkhalter (choir director) led them in song.

Guitarist, Mr. Erskin, was having a great time celebrating, playing his guitar and singing All in my Head and Set Free. Erskin not only plays the guitar and sings but is also a song writer. He wrote the songs he performed.

Intermittently, students would read a description of a person of black heritage making a difference in this world and then ask ‘Who am I’? The answers were usually a doctor or an inventor, someone that has made a difference.

David Williams (fifth grader) got up on stage and played the drums along with guest Jay Rideaux. The performance was very entertaining.

Ms. Bell ended the program telling the children about Professor William Hobart Stafford. She explained he started the school and was very determined that every student should get a fair education. Ms Bell told the students Stafford Elementary was part of her history. She graduated from this school in 1963.

“Today we want to celebrate black history to share the heritage and contributions that African Americans have made and let them know the history behind Stafford Elementary,” explained principal Myla Wilson.

Excerpt from “Don’t Die on Third Base” by Professor William Hobart Stafford

The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed. I urge you, therefore, to dig deep into the hidden meanings and implications of what the world may hold in store for you. Beat your path far into the jungle of life. Plow to the end of the row and when you have seen the sun go down behind the western horizon for the last time, may you be able to say with a clear conscience that you have put forth every effort to make the world brighter and better by your having lived in it, and that third base was merely a stepping stone for the home plate.