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AUSD March Updates

Celebrating Black History Month and school musical productions

Musical season is upon us, and we’d like to encourage community members to attend the performances at Alameda High School and Encinal High School over the next several weeks.

Alameda Post - a theatrical curtain

Alameda High School’s Drama Department production of The Addams Family will be performed on March 15, 16, 21, 22, and 23 at 7 p.m., with a matinee on March 17 at 2 p.m. The musical comedy based on Charles Addams’ renowned characters premiered on Broadway in 2010, toured the U.S. in 2011 and 2012, and has been produced in more than a dozen countries around the world. Tickets are $10 for students and seniors, $15 for adults, and may be purchased online.

Encinal High School’s spring musical, Mean Girls, will be performed March 22, 28, 29, and 30 at 7 p.m., with an afternoon show on March 23 at 5 p.m. Based on the 2002 film of the same name—which was based on Rosalind Wiseman’s classic 2002 book, Queen Bees and Wannabes—this musical focuses on a student who moved to Chicago from Kenya and is navigating social dynamics at her high school. Tickets are $10 for students and seniors and $15 for adults and are available online.

Black History Month

February was Black History Month, which presented the opportunity for engaging and exciting work at our school sites. Alameda Unified School District elementary schools celebrated the month with classroom door decorating contests; lessons about famous Black musicians, inventors, artists, authors, political leaders, athletes, and engineers; and dramatic productions.

Otis and Ruby Bridges held oratorical fests, in which students read poems aloud to their classes. Paden brought its Black History Month celebration to what Principal Tri Nguyen calls “a splendid close” with a poetry slam. During that event, 28 students in grades 1-5 recited poems by Black and African American writers.

Middle and high school events included community gatherings, assemblies including a visit by the group School Yard Rap at Wood, and library book displays.

Topics related to Black history, culture, and achievement should not just be relegated to February, of course, and the Board of Education is hearing a series of presentations on school initiatives supporting African American student achievement.

At its May 31 meeting last year, the Board heard presentations from Encinal Jr. & Sr. High School, Wood Middle School, and Ruby Bridges Elementary School. So far this year Alameda High School, Lincoln Middle School, and Love Elementary have given presentations, on October 24, February 13, and February 27, respectively. Those presentations, with videos, are available online.

Susan Davis is the Senior Manager of Community Affairs for the Alameda Unified School District. Reach her at [email protected].

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