Saturday, December 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Teachers prep for ambitious Black History Month program

fairview black history 2_24_14

Fairview Elementary fifth-graders Moneyea Henderson, center, Trejon Jones, left, and Marcus Frison, right, practice a dance routine Monday for the school's Black History Month program. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | February 26, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — Sophia White, a fourth-grader at Fairview Elementary School, is determined to not let stage fright get the best of her at the school’s Black History month show.

Sophia has a solo song in the performance, “Go Down Moses.”

“I sang in four choirs before, but I just stayed in the back, hiding,” she said.

The spotlight will be on Sophia during the three free performances – 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and 8:30 and 9:45 a.m. Thursday. The public is invited.

Her backup plan was in place at Tuesday afternoon’s rehearsal. If she gets nervous, Sophia said she’ll just close her eyes or take off her glasses. The  latter, she added, will make the audience appear blurry.

“They’ll look like blobs,” she said.

She is one of seven singers under the direction of Fairview teacher Andrea McFarland. The show is an ambitious undertaking by teacher Carmel Onick, with assistance from another teacher, Melanie Laws.

Onick minored in dance in college and danced with some Los Angeles-based dance companies. She also taught ballet and jazz to students as young as 2.

About 35 students are involved in the show, which features narration, dancing and music. The script was penned by Onick and covers the years from the 1400s to the present. She said she included a lot of historical information, hoping the audience will leave the show having learned something new.

There are costumes, choreography and even a slave ship painted on cardboard.

“In my 30 years of teaching, I’ve never seen anything on this level,” Laws said.

Some of the performers have a few costume changes. Aaleija Thomas, a fifth-grader, is an African dancer in the opening number. From there, she heads to Onick’s classroom, close to the stage, to change into an all-white outfit for the praise dance.

Aaelija, who learned African dancing by watching shows featuring it, said the story is close to her heart, particularly when the slave trade comes to life on stage.

“These people couldn’t get out of the situation (they were in),” she said of slavery. “They were taken away from their homes by people who just wanted to trade them.”

Lillianna Richardson, a third-grader, also dances in the show. She learned African dance from her sister.

“Dancing is natural for me,” she said. “I love dancing. I want to dance (professionally) when I grow up.”

The students and teachers have put a lot of time into the show. Preparation began in November. Rehearsals were held on weekends and over winter break.

Even with hours of practice under her belt, singer Adria Supriano wasn’t taking any chances on Tuesday. She had written some of the song lyrics on her hand so she wouldn’t forget them at rehearsal.

Fifth-graders Caleb Turley and Elijah Phillips are two of the six-man stage crew. Their tasks include moving shiny blue fabric across the stage to resemble the ocean traveled by the slave ships. They will also help watch the door closest to the stage, so there is plenty of room for the dancers and actors to move about.

“I like to help,” Elijah gave as his reason for pitching in.

Laws and Onick worked together on last year’s Black History Month program, which focused more on vocal performances.

In addition to sharing the word about black history, the program also gives the students a chance to showcase their musical and dance skills.

“We don’t have music and PE at the school,” Laws said.

Onick saw the program as an opportunity for the students, to express themselves in positive ways.

“They need to have a chance to shine,” she said.

It also gives her and Laws a chance to work students who are not in their classrooms.

“It’s different from the day-to-day teaching,” Laws said. “I have bonded with some of the kids I did not teach.”

Her hope is that those who see the show will come to realize they can do great things, Laws said.

The school is at 830 First St.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or amaginnis@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Suisun1February 26, 2014 - 8:03 am

    Looks like an incredible program! I will try and bring my family. Very heart-warming to hear teachers going the extra mile in an environment of relentless budget cuts, especially in music and arts programs. I have a 1-year old daughter and hope she encounters teachers like Ms. Onick and Ms. Laws.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Creche collection grows in size, popularity

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Handmade Christmas display is man’s labor of love

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
     
    Company competition a big win for charity

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Meeting a great role model at any age

    By Murray Bass | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

    Fairfield police log: Dec. 18, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Suisun City police log: Dec. 18, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

    Weather for Dec. 20, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

     
    .

    US / World

     
    Wetter than usual start to new year in California predicted

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    Hospital to pay $2.2M to settle false claims

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

     
    Napolitano named as UC public policy professor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    Man shocked 20 times during jail booking sues

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

     
    Notorious California graffiti suspect arrested

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

    Island park in San Francisco Bay closed for weekend

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

     
    California’s bullet train settles 1 of 7 lawsuits

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

    Tuskegee Airman Lowell Steward dies in California at 95

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Animal rights activists take California rodeo to court

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Bush officials gave CIA wide latitude

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Theater shooter’s parents plead for his life

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Driver pleads not guilty in pedestrian deaths

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

     
    5 ways to make your email safer in case of a hack attack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Celebrities react to latest Sony hack developments

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Sony on shelving ‘The Interview': ‘We had no choice’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 5 Comments

    AP Interview: Coelho says Sony hack threatens all

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Jury rules for Indiana woman in firing over IVF

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Bergdahl investigation wraps up; top leaders get briefings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    Texas eatery worker gets mink coat from customer

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Sugarland, promoter settle with state fair victims

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    NY police officer suspended after videotaped punch

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Prepackaged caramel apples linked to 4 deaths

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    Supreme Court won’t stop gay marriages in Florida

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Staples: Customer data exposed in security breach

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    Lava could reach Hawaii shopping center in 8 days

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Israel carries out airstrike on Hamas site in Gaza

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    Pakistan executes militants and bombards tribal areas

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    Franciscan religious order in ‘grave’ financial crisis

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    .

    Opinion

    Yes, Virginia, the Santa wish list has gone digital

    By Petula Dvorak | From Page: A8

     
    Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 20, 2014

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    If you want to help the poor, fix the safety net

    By Jim Tankersley | From Page: A8

    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Dec. 20, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Today in History: Dec. 20, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Pampered pets that don duds move to the mainstream

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Horoscopes: Dec. 20, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B11

    Children from wife’s first marriage put father’s ashes in coffin

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B11

     
    .

    Entertainment

    More than 4 million people watched 1st dog telethon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Kim Jong Un game spoof ‘Glorious Leader!’ moving forward

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Marathon bombing survivor in ‘Yes to Dress’ finale

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Kid Rock to perform pre-race concert at Daytona 500

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Actor Stephen Collins denies he’s a pedophile in interview

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Sports

    Dodge, Vaca grad Mason lead Southern Oregon to NAIA title

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Raiders haven’t needed much from Janikowski

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    AP sources: Peavy agrees on $24M, 2-year deal with Giants

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    FIFA will not reopen 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Howe’s family reports rapid improvement

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    2 Armstrong associates settle lawsuit with Landis

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Rays, Padres, Nats complete 11-player trade involving Myers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Vanden girls open Nike TOC with win on Arizona

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

     
    Things to know about Friday’s baseball news

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Rookie receivers making their mark in NFL

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Former boxing champ Ernie Terrell dies at 75

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Gold medalist Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, avoids jail time

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Dodgers end Yanks’ payroll streak, owe most tax

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    CIF football bowl games headed to Sacramento

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

     
    Cal men beat Eastern Washington 78-67 for seventh straight win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    This date in sports history for Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    .

    Business

    California unemployment rate dips to 7.2 percent

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    Chrysler gives in to gov’t, expands air bag recall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    T-Mobile paying at least $90M for unwanted services

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    EPA sets first national standard for coal waste

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Sales for holiday shopping season comes down to the wire

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Judy Zamora Rogers

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

     
    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

     
    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B10

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

     
    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

     
    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

     
    .

    Home Seller 12/20/14

    Real estate transactions for Dec. 20, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

    Ask a Designer: decorating with Christmas trees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2