By Gabriella Cuzzola
ELIZABETH—On Thursday July 16th, the Elizabeth Board of Education held their regular monthly meeting at The Donald Stewart Early Childhood Education Center School. On this night, the atmosphere felt more like a special occasion with a crowd made up of performers, as well as the usual parents and teachers.
The meeting began with a special performance from Mike Rios, a student at the Juan Pablo Duarte-Jose Julian Marti School (No. 28). He impersonated Michael Jackson in a rendition of the song “Billie Jean.” He had previously performed at the Apollo Theater. Afterwards, board members presented him with a certificate of recognition and thanked him for his act. There were also performances by Columbian dancers from Ritmo y Cache Dance Studio. The girls wore sparkling golden costumes and the men wore sombreros. They danced to a wide variety of songs.
One of the highlights of the evening was when the Angolan Student Chorus took the floor to perform. The five chorus members, ranging from youngsters to teenagers, sang three songs a cappella. The audience clapped through their performance and, when it ended, they were greeted with a round of applause and cheers from the board members and crowd. Their performance served as an introduction to the next part of the meeting.
Dr. Julia Machado, consulate of Angola, spoke on behalf of the Angolan community. Recently, members of the community in Elizabeth, including Machado and the three schoolteachers who accompanied her to the meeting, have realized the value of forming a relationship with the Elizabeth Board of Education in order to best address the needs of Angolan children who reside in the District.
“We feel the enthusiasm of the teachers (here in Elizabeth) and we are looking forward to great results,” said Machado, “By working together, we can progress.” After her speech, Machado presented the members of the Board with sculptures, celebrating their new partnership. The Board of Education welcomes this newfound partnership.
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