The Virgin Islands Department of Education, St. Thomas – St. John District Office of Curriculum, Assessment and Technology held its annual Social Studies Fair on Friday, March 3, 2017 in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Park which aims to recognize students’ knowledge and understanding of lessons taught in their social studies and history classes. The theme for this year’s fair was “One Hundred Years under the Stars and Stripes”, in commemoration of the territory’s Transfer Centennial.
Charlotte Amalie High School, Bertha C. Boschulte (BCB) Middle School, Addelita Cancryn Junior High School, Julius E. Sprauve School and Ulla F. Muller Elementary were this year’s participants.
District Social Studies Coordinator, Annie Smith, orchestrated the event that included steel band performances, skits, monologues, vocal and instrumental performances as well as visual displays. Following the posting of the colors by the Charlotte Amalie JROTC Color Guard, Mrs. Smith gave welcome remarks.
“It’s rewarding to see that the students truly know and understand the history and what they learn in class and through their individual research”, said Mrs. Smith. “This year in particular, with the Centennial, students are truly understanding and learning more about VI History because that is what this commemoration is all about, a reflection of the past 100 plus years.”
Cancryn’s Concert Choir opened the program with a performance of Kirk Franklin’s “My Life is in Your Hands” followed by an instrumental by the school’s Saxophone Quartet.
Lt. Governor Osbert Potter, after hearing a preview of presentations to come from his office, made his way to the park to enjoy the performances. Following Charlotte Amalie’s ninth grade VI History class’ reenactment of the 1848 Fire Burn in St. Croix, he gave a brief encouraging word to the students and audience.
“It feels good to come down to the park and see our talented students doings things that keep our culture alive through education and ultimately brings back memories”, Lt. Governor Potter said.
The steel bands from both Cancryn and BCB performed a range of local calypso, reggae and R&B hits to entertain the audience while Muller’s Bamboula Dancers, dressed in all white amazed the crowd with the traditional Afro-Caribbean dance performed by their own Bamboula drummers.
Cancryn’s social studies department presented several works displaying their knowledge of African, African American and VI History in the forms of dance, poetry, art and music.
Julius E. Sprauve School’s fourth grade class presented poems that represented life in the Virgin Islands then and now and its fifth grade class displayed 100 facts about Transfer Day which piqued the interest of Senate President Myron Jackson who also attended the event.
The Social Studies Fair allows students to present their ideas and knowledge gained in the classroom in their own unique and artistic way in efforts to further teach and engage their peers. It is held on the first Friday in March, usually to kick off Virgin Islands history month.