One thing that Timothy Christian is known for is our beautiful diversity of students. We are blessed to have students from every ethnicity and culture, and we celebrate it.
During the month of February, the elementary students put on an annual Black History month chapel. The students start the process back in January where they choose a famous African American that they look up to and admire, they research facts about their person and then write a speech or poem to share in front of their peers in February.
Part of the process involves Mrs. Hubler our school librarian and media specialist. She takes the time to work with students to provide books and resources they would need for further information. The second part of the process is drafting their speech at home with their parents. The third part of the process begins at the end of January when Mrs. McInerney, our elementary principal, works one on one with each student. She has the student rehearse in the chapel several times before the big day. Mrs. Mac is big on practicing stage presence, speaking loudly in front of an audience, and articulating our words carefully so that everyone can hear and understand what we are saying.
During the Black History month chapel event, students are allowed to wear clothes that match their famous Black American. Students can invite parents and grandparents to watch them present in the chapel. It is a special day where the elementary students learn about multiple famous Americans that have worked hard to achieve their goals, no matter what obstacles may have been in their way. Students are encouraged to listen carefully during the chapel to hear how God worked in each person’s life and gave them special gifts and talents. We always want our students to know that life is hard, but God is good. He helps us to persevere through trials and struggles and He ultimately has a purpose and plan for our lives.
One special first grader stood out this year. Lael Trent memorized her entire speech about Ruby Bridges. Her grandfather and father escorted her to the stage as the court marshals had to do in the south when desegregating schools began. Lael blew us all away with her powerful words as Ruby Bridges. Lael’s mother said, “I tell Lael all the time that she can do anything she sets her mind to do.” Lael and her parents worked hard on that speech. There wasn’t a dry eye when she was done speaking. It is moments like this that we don’t quickly forget.
The middle and high school students had the opportunity to discuss as well as work on some assignments regarding how black Americans have helped to advance the areas of math, science, English and history in their classes. In chapel Miss McKay shared the contributions that black Americans have made in the music world from negro spirituals to Gospel music to present day Christian music. Students got to hear music written by the ‘father of gospel,’ Thomas Dorsey, the ‘father of modern gospel,’ Andraé Crouch, and our very own Mr. Andre Hayes.
Mr. Hayes shared his powerful personal testimony about the Lord saving him and how gospel music by Fred Hammond and Kirk Franklin helped keep him close to Christ and live out his faith. “I found freedom in nothing else but Christ,” said Mr. Hayes. In closing, he sang one of his own raps entitled, “Slavery.” Here is an excerpt from one of his raps:
“What Martin did should have been enough,
What Malcolm did should have been enough,
What Tubman did should have been enough,
What Rosa did should have been enough,
But what Christ did gotta be enough!”