'Stars' Come out for Pine Forest Elementary School Play; Students Portrayed African-Americans in U.S. History

By Moody, Sarah | The Florida Times Union, May 9, 2007 | Go to article overview

'Stars' Come out for Pine Forest Elementary School Play; Students Portrayed African-Americans in U.S. History


Moody, Sarah, The Florida Times Union


Byline: SARAH MOODY

Legendary talk show icon Oprah Winfrey recently paid a visit to Pine Forest Elementary School.

Well, sort of ...

In the annual second-grade play at the Southside school, students at the arts magnet school portrayed several of the most celebrated African-Americans in history, including the famous Miss O herself.

The drama program, in its seventh year, provided Pine Forest students with not only a welcome break from classes, but also insight into the effect influential African-Americans such as Rosa Parks and Alvin Ailey have had on history.

Rehearsing for weeks, students were thrilled to perform the play in front of their peers, teachers and parents.

"I am excited to play Oprah because she is famous and she makes a lot of money," second-grader Cierra Ward said.

Other students admitted they were a little anxious, though.

"I'm nervous even though I have been practicing for weeks," said Carter Delegal, who played Ray Charles. "I'm worried I might forget my lines."

Whether they were overcome by nerves or not, "every student is involved in one way or another," said second-grade teacher and play sponsor Laura Hammock. "We have parts for both dancers and actors."

Some of Pine Forest's more senior students also had the opportunity to take part.

"We came to practice and helped with the set," said 10-year-old Kristen Pinard. "We got to miss lots and lots of school."

The play's theme, "I Had a Dream," was created after February's Black History Month celebration to help further expose students to different subject matter and music, Hammock said. …

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