Today our school building welcomed the city's mayor into our midst. Before February break, we had many Black History Month contests going on for students, one of which was an essay contest. Students were encouraged to describe which African-American (famous or otherwise) they would honor if they were mayor for the day. The city's mayor chose three winners and came to our building today to announce and congratulate them. The winners each received a prize from the school and their whole classroom won either an ice cream or Subway lunch party. Each winner also received a gold pin from the mayor. After he read the essays and did some photo-ops with the winners, the mayor answered some questions from the students.
What a great experience it was for the winners and their classrooms! Our mayor is a well-spoken, articulate, intelligent African-American man. With so many of our students lacking positive male (and positive African American) role models in their lives, the opportunity to meet and chat with the mayor was fantastic. He seemed genuinely interested in the students and their experiences/questions. Being one of the lowest schools in the district academically, positive recognition from a figure of authority was a step in the right direction towards recognizing the good things going on in our building, as opposed to only the negative things. I hope that the students took something away from the experience, other than a tummy full of subs or ice cream!