Friday, August 1, 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
.

Solano News

‘Boyhood’ mature on music, moments

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

 
Mr. Clean: Dennis Regan offers friendly jokes, with a bite

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Gemstones shine at Solano County Fair

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Trifecta: ‘The Who’s Tommy’ third play in three months

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Japan Summerfest returns this month

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Highway 12 to close overnight in Jameson Canyon

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

Air district calls Spare the Air alert

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Vallejo police arrest suspect in shooting death

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Solano Tea Party Patriots schedule meet

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Stabbing victim dies in Vacaville

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

As US job market strengthens, many don’t feel it

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Dow plunges as multiple worries vex investors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds 2011 union law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
A look at the impact of Wisconsin’s union law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Abbas seeks broad support for war crimes charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US, UN announce deal on 72-hour Gaza cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Californians to see increase in health plan costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Appellate court overturns high-speed rail rulings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Report: Secrecy enveloped Bay Bridge construction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Yosemite wildfire weakened, evacuations to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Candidate goes homeless to show economic gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

California ex-mayor sentenced in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US warns against traveling to Ebola-hit countries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

See-through mice reveal details of inner anatomy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
CIA spied on Senate, internal review finds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Demoted worker shoots CEO, kills self in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA to test making rocket fuel ingredient on Mars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Investigators reach Ukraine jet wreckage site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Congress races to finish VA, highway bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Opinion

Nice guy becomes House majority leader

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

 
Should union organizing be a civil right?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 1, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

To err is human – but not in print

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Why do so many Americans support Hamas

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 5 Comments

.

Living

Today in History for Aug. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My irregular monthly cycles were a symptom of cancer, not menopause

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes for Aug. 1, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Aug. 1-7, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
‘Godfather of Makeup’ Dick Smith dead at 92

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: Boseman drips with charisma as James Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Starz’ ‘Outlander’ brings novels to life vibrantly

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Dionne Warwick knows her way to San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar Aug. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
‘Sharknado 2′ whipped up storm of viewers, tweets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Chekwa taking reps with Raiders while Hayden sits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Safety Bethea finding a groove with new 49ers team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Expos fall short in 10-9 loss to Leghorns

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7

 
A’s deal Tommy Milone to Twins for Sam Fuld

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

A’s get Lester, Gomes from Red Sox for Cespedes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Commonwealth Games athlete convicted for assault on rival

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Lynch ends holdout, arrives at Seahawks camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Nick Watney leads PGA Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rich get richer: Rays’ Price traded to Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Dumdumaya takes third in World Junior/Junior Olympic tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

AP Source: Trump advances in Bills sale process

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Mudcats get 15-7 win in Auburn Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

Phelps to compete in 4 events at US nationals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Another decent start for Woods at Firestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Ravens’ Rice: His actions ‘totally inexcusable’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Dustin Johnson takes leave of absence from golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
Derrick Brooks set standard for NFL linebackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Business

Daimler launches new version of tiny Smart car

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

SeaWorld, Southwest Airlines ending partnership

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Target taps outsider as CEO for needed shakeup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Iliad of France makes surprise bid for T-Mobile US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
In San Francisco real estate, $1M won’t buy much

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Facebook’s Internet.org expands in Zambia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Debit overdraft fees often exceed cost of purchase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9