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85th Street Lower School Students Mark Black History/Futures Month

In February, our 85th Street Lower School students marked Black History/Futures Month by learning about African American changemakers and delving into music, dance and art. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Kindergarten through third grade students presented ¡Carnaval!, a lively performance guided by our music, creative movement, and Spanish teachers, with special collaboration from our STEAM, art, P.E. and cluster teachers. Inspired by the many Afro-Latin American and Caribbean cultures that celebrate Carnival during the month of February, students explored the music and dance of Soca (Trinidad & Tobago), Salsa (Cuba/New York), Candombe (Uruguay), Samba (Brazil) and Cumbia (Colombia) to recreate this beautiful festivity and celebrate together as a community. View photos and videos
  • Our Montessori elementary students led the 85th Street assembly about Black History/Futures Month. The children presented short videos about influential Black figures in history and in the present, including Simone Biles, Mae Jemison, Misty Copeland, Barack Obama, Ruby Bridges, Garrett Morgan, Genesis Butler, Ava Simmons and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. LS music teacher Mariana Iranzi led the group in song for “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”
  • Kindergartners learned about quilter and portrait artist Bisa Butler. The class spent time poring over her works and noting some of her signature styles, including colorfully patterned fabric in the background of her pieces. Students made vibrant portraits of their own using some of Butler's techniques. The finished products are on display in the stairwell at 85th Street.
  • In Carl Bellamy and Priscilla Lochansingh's second grade classroom, students honored famous changemakers and also studied those who are less well known, including a seventeen-year-old from Kenya named Marcus who, at the age of thirteen, launched an online e-learning platform to inspire kids like himself to spend more time developing their unique skills and talents. Channeling Marcus’ motivation for self-growth, students wrote personal goals in their journals that they will challenge themselves to work on for two weeks.


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