Students and staff at the Julius E. Sprauve School (JESS) held a joint celebration of Black History and VI History Month on Friday, March 10 that featured unforgettable presentations of song, dance and poetry.
The grand affair was held at the nearby Franklin A. Powell, Sr. Park on St. John, which attracted a crowd of parents, locals and tourists. Students David Marsh, Jr. and Brianna Lewis served as Master and Mistress of Ceremonies, introducing each part of the program with grace.
Following a warm welcome and opening remarks by Principal Marion Lynch-Esannason, JESS first graders kicked off the festivities with a stirring rendition of the South African National Anthem. The song was followed by the recitation of the "Sing Dear Mother Africa" poem by eighth grade music students. The JESS choir followed with a number of inspirational selections, to the delight of the crowd.
A special highlight in the program came with the segment "Hidden Figures," which praised several JESS teachers as VI heroes for their tireless work in the classroom and the community. Honorees included Brenda Brown, Lucinda Parsons, Mr. Williams and Assistant Principal Lisa Penn. Each received a bouquet of flowers and a plaque as a show of appreciation.
The program continued by featuring a variety of music genres. In the Rhythm & Blues category, second graders performed Lionel Richie's hit "All Night Long" in celebration of the centennial on March 31. Seventh graders performed the poem "Elliptical," and music teacher, Ms. Foster sang "Rise Up" with acoustic guitar accompaniment. Next, the Reggae category featured fourth graders singing Bob Marley's mega hit, "Three Little Birds" commonly known as "Everything Is Gonna Be Alright." The Reggae category would not be complete without "VI Nice," which was performed by the kindergartners. The Soca, Quelbe and Calypso category brought culture center stage. "St. Thomas" was performed by 7th and 8th grade music students; third graders followed with a song and dance; and the JESS quadrille dancers showed off their fancy footwork for the audience. The 5th-8th grade students wrapped up the segment with a variety of popular soca dances.
Following closing remarks by Ms. Penn, JESS faculty, staff and students led the audience in a big dance party.
Enjoy the photo highlights below!