Friday, January 5th was a misty, overcast, typical Seattle winter morning that was not too cold, but not warm at all, but just right for the 1st annual Madrona School High Five!

Organized to help celebrate the rich Black History of the School and Central Area in general, the event featured African American staff members, community members, and parents speaking to the entire student body on the topic of success and highlighting the unique role Black, African and African-American families and neighbours play.

“Its important for all students, not just our African American’s, to learn about the rich history of the central area and our school”, said Ted Evans Jr., one of the organizers of the event. “Whether students are seeing someone who looks like them or different from them, they are all hearing about success and determining what it can mean to them”

Speakers included parents, community members, staff, and of course students. The student body was very patient and seemingly engaged, which is a hard thing for most kindergartners, as they listened intently to the program which lasted about 30 minutes. Knowing the limits of the elementary student attention span, the program moved swiftly and transcended into the high five portion of the morning. As students formed lines by class, the adults retreated onto the playground and form the “High Five Gauntlet” and readied themselves for the students. There was a quick moment of silence and anticipation as the adults seemed more excited than the students, and then suddenly… BOOM! Students came rushing out of the gym door, lead by their teachers, smiling and giving high fives!

It took about 15 minutes to get all of the students thru the lines and back into the building and off to their classes. Afterwards, the adult volunteers mingled and loitered around, seemingly wishing they could stay on the playground and not go back to work for the day. Events such as this are entirely dependent on great parent and community volunteer support. About 50 volunteers came out from the community and the crowd was very diverse in race and backgrounds. In addition to the parents and teachers, members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, where there along with local business employees from Cupcake Royale.

This 1st Annual High Five event focusing on success, was most certainly a success.

Photos by Emile Pitre

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