MCPS held its third annual countywide Dance Showcase on Feb. 24 at Northwood High School. The showcase featured dance workshops for middle and high school students and evening performances for parents and the community. The evening show featured performances from Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Col. Zadok Magruder, Northwood and Thomas S. Wootton high schools, and A. Mario Loiederman, Silver Spring International and White Oak middle schools.
The Dance Showcase is designed to support and strengthen dance programs throughout MCPS; to expose students to other dance programs and educators and to broaden students’ experiences.
Celebrating Black History Month in MCPS
Black History Month was celebrated at schools throughout MCPS with speakers, performances, artwork and contests.
Roberto Clemente Middle School held a community-wide cultural and heritage showcase. This event highlighted staff and student performances, along with guest speakers, food, art and local vendors.
Germantown Elementary School hosted an event with poet and author Eloise Greenfield, whose work is used in third, fourth and fifth grades. Several students recited her poetry and then she did readings from three of her books, Honey, I Love and Other Love Poems, Childtimes and Great Migration. She spoke to the audience about her experiences as an author, took questions and answers and signed her books. The school chorus also performed at this event, and students who participated in the schoolwide poster contest were recognized.
Quince Orchard High School paid tribute to the Harlem Renaissance during its Black History celebration. Spanning the 1920s to the mid-1930s, the Harlem Renaissance was a literary, artistic and intellectual movement that kindled a new black cultural identity. It was considered to be a rebirth of African American arts.
White Oak Middle School students participated in a variety of activities including African dance, mask making, board games like mancala, a poetry jam and basketball tournament. They also learned about topics such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Argyle Middle School 8th graders received a special surprise when they were able to attend the movie Hidden Figures for free. The film tells the story of a team of African American women mathematicians who played a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program. After the film, students returned to the school to discuss the film and reflect on the dedication and accomplishments of the women.
Burnt Mills Elementary School participated in the African American Read-In, an event to make literacy a big part of Black History Month. Several guest speakers read to students throughout the day, including County Executive Isiah Leggett, who presented a proclamation acknowledging the event. He read, You Can Do It!, by Tony Dungy to a first-grade class.
Wootton, University of Maryland Athletes Read to Lakewood Students
Students at Lakewood Elementary School celebrated Read Across America Week with a visit from athletes at the University of Maryland and Thomas W. Wootton High School, who read aloud to students in honor of Dr. Seuss.
Reading aloud can have a significant impact on the literacy achievement of all children, even those who are already independent readers. Fourth and fifth graders analyzed Dr. Seuss quotes.
The Wootton lacrosse athletes will continue the reading partnership as Lakewood launches its own Literacy Laxers. Beginning this month, every other week Wootton’s varsity lacrosse players will read aloud to second grade students, and the students will respond to the reading in writing.
Is That the Principal on the Roof … Dressed as the Cat in the Hat?
Carderock Springs Elementary School also celebrated Read Across America Week in a big way. Donning a Cat in the Hat costume, principal Jae Lee stood on the roof and greeted students as they exited school buses each morning. Students enjoyed other fun things during the week, such as wearing hats to school (to go with a reading from The Cat in the Hat), showing off crazy socks (for a reading from Fox in Socks) and coming to school in pajamas (Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book).
Students in Minority Scholars Program Hold Annual Retreat
High school and middle school students in the Minority Scholars Program (MSP) held their 6th annual retreat on Feb. 25. The Minority Scholars Program is a student-led group whose mission is to help reduce the achievement gap in MCPS, increase the academic success of minority students and foster positive relationships. This year’s theme was “Lead, Achieve, Soar ‘Til the Gap is No More.”
Students from 16 high schools and four middle schools have MSP, and another four are getting programs off the ground. During the retreat, the group participated in student-led workshops and held a talent show.
Senior Honors Jazz Ensemble Performs at Kennedy Center
As part of Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM), the MCPS Senior Honors Jazz Ensemble performed at the Kennedy Center. It was one of only four musical ensembles selected from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The director of the Senior Honors Jazz Ensemble is Marshall White, instrumental music teacher at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. During the month of March, MIOSM highlights the excellence in local school music programs. See the performance here.
Students Receive $2 Million in Scholarships at HBCU Fair
Admissions staff from several Historically Black Colleges and Universities hosted an admissions fair at Richard Montgomery High School on Feb. 17. More than 1,000 students and their families attended the fair. MCPS seniors applied for on-the-spot admissions and scholarships. This year, more than 300 students received acceptances and 60 received scholarships totaling $2 million.