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Oak View celebrates black history

By: Abby Zeugner

HIGH POINT — The students of Oak View Elementary School melded math with black history on Thursday night as they honored African American success in politics, science, the arts and more.

Candace Scott, math coach and STEM teacher at Oak View, led the school in the first year of combining a math night with the annual second-grade interactive wax museum.

“We wanted to make it a bigger ordeal,” Scott said. “So we merged everything together.”

As the night began, second-graders dressed as prominent African Americans from history and presented their stories as parents, siblings and other students filtered through.

Kids dressed in lab coats, pilot goggles, jerseys and hats then filed to the gym, where a jump-rope team and step team performed to music written and performed by African Americans.

The math in those performances, Scott said, came from learning counts and steps with the music.

“It takes two-step counts and all that to actually get the beat and the rhythm of the steps,” Scott said.

In the kindergarten and first-grade building, art exhibits lined the hallways. The entryways were covered in posters and paintings of mostly modern African American politicians, inventors and creators.

The exhibits, Scott said, incorporated math standards with historical events, inventions and achievements from black men and women.

One piece, clay rolled around a pen, honored John W. Reed, who invented the rolling pin in the 1800s.

Across the hall were buildings made using clay balls and toothpicks, emulating the work African American architects.

In the cafeteria, parents bid on art pieces that individual classes worked together to make.

One parent who hails from the African continent loaned many teachers brightly patterned hair scarves to pay homage to her lineage and sub-Saharan African dress.

The evening closed out with cakes and cornbread for all in attendance during the soul-food tasting.

“I say, where there’s a will there’s a way,” Scott said. “I think it was very successful.”

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