Urbana School District Monthly
March 2009
King Elementary
Leal Elementary
Prairie Elementary
Thomas Paine Elementary
Urbana High School
Urbana Middle School
Washington Early Childhood
Wiley Elementary
Yankee Ridge Elementary

Hundreds Gather to Celebrate Culture, Community

Students from Martin Luther King Elementary School perform at the Third-Annual African American Cultural Festival.
Students from Martin Luther King Elementary School perform at the third-annual African-American Cultural Festival.

“Next year, we may have to move to Assembly Hall,” a half-joking, half-serious Grace Mitchell said between serving several hundred soul-food dinners at the third-annual African-American Cultural Festival, February 26, 2009, at the Urbana High School Commons. Hundreds of parents, students, and members of the community gathered to celebrate Black History Month. Three years ago the Festival was at UHS. Last year hundreds braved a snowstorm to attend the Community Cultural Festival. This year the event was moved back to Urbana High School and crowds jammed the Commons to make the Festival bigger than ever.

Members of the public were able to sample a soul-food dinner, enjoy student entertainment, learn more about school and community support services, and simply enjoy one another’s company.

Grace Mitchell serves soul food.
African-American Cultural Festival coordinator Grace Mitchell serves soul food dinners to hundreds attending the festival at UHS.

Mitchell says, “I was truly pleased with the number of people that came out last night. We again had over 300 hundred people in attendance. This year’s program with the children was outstanding. We also had more vendors participating this year, which really made it nice. It is my hope that this event will continue to draw in more families, agencies and service providers. Black History Month is the ideal time to stress the importance of community and schools working together. Urbana certainly exemplifies the best of our community and the district’s efforts to promote parent/family involvement.”

March frontpage