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MVCSD holds Juneteenth celebrations

MVCSD holds Juneteenth celebrations

Schools across the Mount Vernon City School District celebrated Juneteenth and learned about the significance of the date during the week of Monday, June 17, 2024. Students made signs, walked in a parade and had lessons about the history of Juneteenth.

At Graham School, scholars put on a production for a night of art, melody and the beats of African drum and dance on Monday, June 17. Students from each grade were able to showcase their talents in different ways. 

Students on stage dancing.

Fourth grade students opened up the show with a special trumpet performance, playing “Mary Had a Little Lamb'' and “Duke’s Place” by Duke Ellington. The show continued with various types of dances, including modern, hip-hop and African dances performed by students from the second through eighth grade. Third graders also performed on their recorders, and second grade students sang a special rendition of “Feelin’ Alive”, while kindergarteners rocked the maracas on stage.

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Hamilton School held an outdoor celebration on Tuesday, June 18, which was a culmination of different educational lessons the school has been doing for the past two weeks. At this celebration, students did activities and games such as inflatable basketball, tin can alley, face-painting, cornhole and playing in a bouncy castle. Students and teachers wore the Juneteenth colors of red, white and blue.

student playing basketball game

“I’m part of the Cultural Heritage Committee, so every year we plan events around cultural dates and celebrations, and so Juneteenth is a part of our year long celebrations,” said Veronica Cordero-Turner, a reading specialist at Hamilton.

Students also partook in a competition in which they made educational posters for Juneteenth. 

“I believe this is the whole spirit of Juneteenth: togetherness, moving forward, celebrating culture, celebrating freedom,” said Hamilton Principal Marc Molina. “It’s just another way from an educational standpoint of addressing the whole child with these sorts of activities. We’re just lucky to have wonderful staff, wonderful parents, wonderful PTA to help us put this all together.”

This event was held to bring the school community together and teach the children about freedom in the spirit of Juneteenth. It was organized by the Juneteenth committee, being first planned in September by Lisa Morris, reading and literacy teacher at Hamilton. 

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At Benjamin Turner Academy, students had a week of classes to learn about Juneteenth. They created posters, fliers and kites to commemorate Juneteenth. The purpose of these lessons was so that students could understand the historical significance of the celebrations. 

Teacher with students holding their juneteenth signs.

“I learned about people’s freedom,” said Mohamed Diallo, third grade student at BTA. “The thing that I like about it is everybody coming together and celebrating.”

On Tuesday, June 18, students at BTA walked in a Juneteenth parade holding their homemade signs. The whole school community walked in the parade, which culminated in a celebration where everyone ate fruit and cake. 

Students at Mount Vernon Honor Academy also learned about Juneteenth with videos and lessons about the holiday. They also colored flags and drew and wrote about how they will celebrate Juneteenth. They will have more lessons and celebrate with a Juneteenth picnic on Thursday, June 20.  

Throughout the District, other schools had lessons and celebrations to commemorate the holiday as well.

Click here to view the photo gallery.

Picture of Dr. Thomas with maroon on sides.

Dr. Albert “George” Thomas, M.D., M.S., graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1975. He studied medicine at ICAHN School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and became an obstetrician and gynecologist following his education.  

Mr. Jose Formoso

The Mount Vernon City School District named Jose Formoso as its new Assistant Superintendent for Business during the Special Meeting of the Board of Education on Tuesday July 9, 2024. Mr. Formoso brings over a decade of experience in finances to this role, having earned a Bachelor of Science in business economics from SUNY Oneonta in 2003. In 2009, Mr. Formoso received a Master of Business Administration in financial management from Pace University. 

Students holding stuffed animals

The pre-kindergarten students were buzzing with creativity and excitement, showing off their new stuffed friends to staff and classmates. These children were given the chance to assemble their own personalized stuffed animals by hand during yesterday’s summer camp session on Wednesday, July 10, 2024. 

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Greetings MVCSD Community, 

As we conclude this school year, I am filled with immense gratitude and pride for all that we have accomplished together.

I want to commend our hard-working students, faculty, staff, families, and administrators on a wonderful and successful school year. Our teachers, who are the backbone of this District and essential to our children’s education, are role models for our children and exercise courage, passion, patience, and love daily. Our teachers played a pivotal role in the success of the 2023 -24 school year.