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Shields students celebrate freedom during Black History Month program

By Carolina Astrain
Feb. 28, 2014 at 6 p.m.
Updated Feb. 28, 2014 at 9:01 p.m.

Adrian Trevino, 8, dances out front as he performs with the Shields Shark Steppers during Friday's Black History Month program at Shields Elementary School. The dancers performed "Makuru: Danse Africain" for the audience of fellow students and some parents.

TO VOLUNTEER

To be a part of the Shields Elementary School after-school Homework Center program, you can contact the school at 361-788-9593.

Jacasian Freeney pressed his fists together while dancing to "Danse Africain" inside the Shields Elementary School gymnasium.

About 15 students who are part of the Shields Shark Steppers moved smoothly across the cement floor during the school's annual Black History Month program.

"I like to dance; it's exciting," Jacasian, 9, said. "Black History Month is something that makes me happy."

Event organizer Tonika Bufford asked students to close their eyes for a moment and imagine their lives without freedoms.

"If you want to dance, you can dance, if you want to sing, you can sing," Bufford said. "You have to the right to do all that because of our Founding Fathers."

The school's Black History Month program is one of the largest hosted by a Victoria school district elementary school, Bufford said.

The school held two shows, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

The afternoon was larger and featured guest speaker the Rev. Montari Morrison, pastor of Greater Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, and a performance by the Mt. Nebo Angels Wings and Divine Praise dance group.

Patty Rodriguez clapped her hands along to a song sung by the Shields Honor Choir, led by music teacher Leslie Bernhardt.

Rodriguez was there to see her son, Adrian Trevino-Rodriguez, perform.

"It's good that these kids get to experience this and learn about Martin Luther King Jr.," said Rodriguez, who was born in the 1960s. "It's important for them to know they can be whatever they want to be and that there's still work to be done."

Jimena Vasquez, a member of the Shields Honor Choir, carried a drum from the music room to the gymnasium to prepare for the second event.

"I felt proud being up there," Jimena, 9, said. "Martin Luther King Jr. has done a lot for us."

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