Dramatic Reading Event Celebrates Black History Month in Clarke County

Braving a blustery February day, crowds gathered at the Josephine School Community Museum for an annual celebration of Black History Month. The Dramatic Reading Competition, sponsored by the museum, is in its seventh year and is the brain child of Ms. Helen O. Carr. The retired librarian and educator founded the competition as a way to celebrate the youth in our community who excel at endeavors that are often overlooked while at the same time shining a light on the wealth of literature and writings that celebrate African American history.

Dramatic reading by Maeve Davis- photo by Mike Dowling

“As a kid I couldn’t play ball, couldn’t sing, couldn’t dance but I could read so my passion turned out to be reading,” Ms. Carr told the audience. “As a teacher I found that there were lots of boys and girls that couldn’t sing, couldn’t dance and couldn’t play sports but liked to read. However as a country we like to highlight those kids that sing well, and   that can play sports and not those that read. ”

The competition is designed to celebrate children who enjoy reading and encourage them. “The whole idea is for boys and girls that like to read to show off what they can do,” said Ms. Carr

The event has grown consistently and is now split into two sessions to accommodate the audience and participants. The first session features readers who are in the 2nd and 3rd grades and a later afternoon session features 4th and 5th grade readers.

Second and third graders read from a variety of selections including a poem from Maya Angelou as well as excerpts from Martin Luther King’s biography and a poem about Jackie Robinson. Students rose to the occasion infusing their readings with flare and drama. Grand prize winner for the 2nd and 3rd grade session, Derek Sprincis, read from “Rum-A-Tum-Tum” and held the audience captive with his spirited reading. Other winners from the 2nd and 3rd grade included:

Grand Prize Winner for 3rd and 4th grades, Derek Sprincis - photo by Mike Dowling

2nd Grade Winners

3rd Place: Samantha Pitts
2nd Place: Addie Radford
1st Place: Aaramus Cooney

3rd Grade Winners

3rd Place: Hannah Marteeny
2nd Place: Maeve Davis
1st Place: Derek Sprincis

Grand Prize Winner: Derek Sprincis

At 3:30 the 4th and 5th graders arrived in force and launched into challenging reading selections that included folk tales, children’s books and poetry. Readers delivered dramatic readings that brought their rich selections to life for the audience. After a tough deliberation the judges delivered the list of winners for the 4th and 5th grade classes. Winners included:

Grand Prize Winner for 4th and 5th grades, Stephanie Miller - photo by Mike Dowling

4th Grade Winners
3rd Place: Madison Webster
2nd Place: Jessica Crandell
1st Place: Cynthia Fairbanks

5th Grade Winners
3rd Place: Madison Farmer
2nd Place: Margarite Fisher
1st Place: Jade Feltner

Grand Prize Winner: Stephanie Miller

Prizes were provided by The Old Book Shop in Berryville and each student received a certificate of participation. Congratulations to all the brave and talented students who participated in this wonderful annual event.

Comments

  1. Congratulations to the winners! It would be nice to know which schools all of the winners represented, though.

    • Kathleen Fisher says:

      To the best of my knowledge, the following students attend Boyce Elementary School:
      Derek Sprincis- 2nd /3rd Grade Grand Prize Champion
      Addie Radford, 2nd place, 2nd grade division
      Aaramus Cooney, 1st place, 2nd grade division
      Maeve Davis, 2nd place, 3rd grade division
      Hannah Marteeny, 3rd place, 3rd grade division
      Jessica Crandell, 2nd place, 4th grade division
      Madison Webster, 3rd place, 4th grade division
      Meg Fisher, 2nd place, 5th grade division
      Stephanie Miller- 4th/5th Grade Grand Prize Champion

      Congratulations to Mrs. Catlett and her team on the
      Board of Education Excellence Award. We appreciate
      their hard work on behalf of our children.

      • onceandawhile says:

        Quite disproportionate, but not surprising.

      • Congrats to all of the winners!

        My concern is, did Ms. Fisher contact each of the parents and get their permission to put on a public website where each of these children attend school? I don’t think that this information should be given out so freely. Just my opinion.

        • If I remember correctly, each year you sign a form if you want to allow or disallow your child’s image, name, etc. with regards to school representation. It’s been a while, but the that’s the gist of it. I was just wondering about numbers, not interested in which child went where. However, my initial assumption was correct.

  2. April O'Leary says:

    Congratulations to all of you who read for this competition, especially Cynthia Fairbanks!! I’ve always known you were a great reader and am proud you’ve used this talent for such an interesting event.

  3. Jo Anna Schulz says:

    Congratulations Stephanie we are very proud of you!!

  4. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WHO TOOK PART IN THIS ANNUAL EVENT,BUT I MUST SAY THAT IT HURT MY HEART WHEN I SEE ONLY ONE OR TWO AFRICAN AMERICAN KIDS.THIS EVENT IS PUT ON EVERY YEAR BY BLACKS WHO CARE ABOUT THERE COMMUNITY,BUT FOR SOME REASON THEY DONT CARE ABOUT THEMSELVES.YES I SAID IT AN HOPE IT MAKE YOU MAD ENOUGH TO TO BETTER NEXT YEAR.