By Lily Haskins-Vaughan
On Wednesday February 27, they came. 16 students and a few chaperones from the Jubilee School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The kids came to learn about the man who inspired them to start the process of changing their school name to his name; W.E.B. DuBois. One of the sixth grade classes, Ms.Cosel’s fourth grade class, and select seventh and eighth graders, met the kids, whose ages ranged from 9-12, during period G. The Jubilee students were tired, after being on a bus for almost 4 hours. One of their teachers, Sister M., wasted no time in getting everyone’s energy level up. While drums were drummed in the background, Sister M. led everyone in dancing and chanting. She radiated charisma and as Ms. Cormier said, ¨I really wanted to be her friend.¨ We then parted ways already psyched for the next day when we would get to visit UMASS Amherst.
The next day even two hours on a bus was made fun. Another teacher, Mr. Ravan, was an excellent storyteller. At UMASS we split into three groups to participate in several activities. Playing Uno, visiting the archives, and looking at some pictographs that DuBois made. The archives were very cool. We got to see photographs of DuBois, letters he had written and posters for the play he wrote. Uno was fun because the two schools got to bond. The pictographs were also very interesting. Dr. DuBois took multiple surveys on ¨the lives of the negro¨ in the 1800s. Then we all ate lunch together.
The next day, we had a historical tour of Great Barrington. We got to see DuBois’s birth site, his boyhood home, and the church where he worshipped. We also got to visit the W.E.B. DuBois Center and the graves of his daughter, son and, wife. It was very cool to learn so much about DuBois from kids my age. That night there was a performance at the Mahaiwe Theatre in celebration of W.E.B. DuBois’s 150th birthday. The kids from the Jubilee School sang, and danced, and recited poetry, and pretty much anything else you could think of. Then the chorus sang and some people read some written work by the poet Ted Thomas. I am so glad that I got to be a part of such an amazing experience and met the amazing students and teachers that I did.
By: Ember Raifstanger
When I was watching the movie Hidden Figures I was thinking “Wow what an incredible woman Katherine Johnson is.” Me and my friends were all really focused and into the movie. It was really funny and everything got put in the right place to make sense. But even though we were studying Katherine Johnson in class the movie wasn't just about her it, was about three different women including Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, all African-American and mentally strong. “It was very inspiring" says Jordan A, one of the fifth graders who was watching the movie. Another fifth grader who was watching, named Christopher W, gave it a big thumbs up. The movie was about the three girls and how they helped NASA and their country Mary was the first girl to go to an all white male school. Dorothy was the first African-American supervisor in NASA and Katherine was the first girl and African American to help NASA sent their first rocket to space. Then this got Lailana S thinking “What if they were white and male, would they still be this important?”