Students at P.S. 125, the Ralph Bunche School in Harlem , have spent the past six weeks learning about the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision. Using both history and art, the students have been celebrating the 50 th anniversary of the landmark decision, which declared illegal the "separate but equal" education doctrine. Their lessons will culminate on Saturday, Dec. 11, with a performance piece written and performed by 18 third- through sixth-graders.
Through a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, a team from the Teachers College Education Zone Program partnered with two School of the Arts students and combined lessons about the Brown decision with writing, improvisation and other exercises. The activities offered the students an outlet to express their feelings about the material and how it applied to their lives.
"The Teachers College Education Zone Partnership wanted to build a bridge to the surrounding community while getting information [about Brown ] out to students," says Areshia McFarlin, SOA'06 . "P.S. 125 was selected because it is a struggling school and [Education Zone] wanted a lasting experience for the students. Performing arts is one of the strongest ways to develop vocabulary and a sense of self. Many people don't realize that exposing students to the arts is a tangible gift."
The performance, a combination of monologues, speeches and skits, will be presented at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, at P.S. 125, 425 W. 123 St. The event is free and open to the public.