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Midwood school celebrates diversity through song

Midwood school celebrates diversity through song
Diversity day: Students from PS 238 perform a song on their recorders during the celebration on Feb. 13.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

Talk about a variety show!

A colorful bunch of students from PS 238 celebrated what makes them all unique during the Midwood school’s “Celebration of Diversity” on Feb. 13 during “Respect for All Week,” which lasts until Feb. 17. The festivities fell right in the middle of Black History Month, making the students’ various songs and dances in honor of the Civil Rights Movement even more important and special, said school’s music director and one of the event’s organizers.

“They chose different songs or dances to represent that theme — the thread of respect and diversity. It was fabulous,” said Ilene Mizrach. “It was really a success.”

Eight middle-schoolers gathered on stage with guitars and performed an iconic song about unity, “We Shall Not Be Moved.” And another group of younger students strummed away on ukuleles to the gospel song, “This Little Light of Mine,” which also became an anthem of the Civil Rights Movement.

Other students used the celebration to teach about bullying and what respect means with very poignant poems, said Mizrach.

“One girl got up and spoke about her experience with bullying, she read her poem,” she said. “It was very moving, because it was personal — her own feeling about it because she had gone through it.”

The audience — filled with parents, teachers, students, and staff — listened wide-eyed and with respect, but the adults in the room could have learned a thing or two from the youngsters, said Mizrach.

“The audience was very respectful and really I found that the children, an audience full of children, was more attentive sometimes than adults,” she said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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