For ninth consecutive year, interactive performance takes students on journey to freedom, alongside school’s iconic namesake
Newark, NJ, March 4, 2014 – On Friday, March 7, the Harriet Tubman Blue Ribbon School – part of the Newark Public School system – will host an historic reenactment of the antislavery icon’s life story and the journey along the Underground Railroad that led thousands of escaped slaves to freedom, as a way to convey the legacy of the school’s namesake to its students. There will be two hour-long performances, beginning at 9:30AM and 1:30PM. Last Friday, the school did a first session of the reenactment, drawing parents and community members to participate in the program (photos attached below, high resolution available).
“Each year, through this annual reenactment, we draw our students’ attention not only to a powerful chapter of our nation’s history, but also to the outstanding bravery and compassion of Harriet Tubman and her fellow abolitionists,” said Assistant Superintendent Mitchell Center. “By literally walking alongside these ‘real-life characters’ as they perform heroic acts and put themselves at personal risk for the betterment of humanity, our children learn lessons that go well beyond American history. In the Newark Public Schools, we believe that this type of hands-on character education program empowers our children and instills pride and good citizenship in them, as they journey through their own lives.”
Since its launch in 2006, the annual event has progressively grown and expanded in scope to an elaborate “living exhibit,” engaging the students and their families through an interactive performance. Beginning in the principal’s office and ending in the cafeteria, the production travels across the school building, involving the students and allowing them to be a part of the journey to freedom, together with Harriet Tubman and her fellow slavery abolitionists.
Constructed just after the end of the Civil War in 1875, the award-winning Harriet Tubman School has the mission of teaching their Pre-K through 6th grade students to be caring, productive and responsible citizens in addition to providing academic excellence and inspiring students to become lifelong learners.
WHO: Assistant Superintendent Mitch Center, Principal Frederick Chatman, students, parents, and school administrators
WHAT: Since 2006, as a way to convey the legacy of the school’s namesake to its students, the Harriet Tubman Blue Ribbon School has created an annual historic reenactment of the antislavery icon’s life story and the journey along the Underground Railroad that led thousands of escaped slaves to freedom. Now in its 9th year, the reenactment has progressively grown into an elaborate “living exhibit,” engaging the students through an interactive performance. Beginning in the Principal’s office with a film screening about Harriet Tubman and ending with a play in the cafeteria, featuring a range of historically significant African Americans, the production journeys through the school building, engaging the students along the way.
WHERE: Harriet Tubman Elementary School, 504 South 10th Street, Newark, NJ 07103
WHEN: Friday, March 7, 2014 at 9:30AM and 1:30PM. Each production lasts approximately 1 hour.