Serviam Girls Academy students celebrate African culture, history

NEW CASTLE — February is a special month at Serviam Girls Academy. The students at the New Castle School — many of whom are African American or Latino — always find a unique way to celebrate Black History Month, and this year was no different.

On Feb. 21, the 61 students laughed, listened and presented the latest of their annual projects.

In one of the classrooms, Delaware’s poets laureate used the spoken word to teach the girls about dreams and ambition. State Rep. Nnamdi Chukwuocha and his twin brother, Al Mills, known as the Twin Poets, held the youngsters’ attention with their rapid-fire, introspective verses.

With titles like “Dreams Are Not Illegal” and “Goals,” the men talked about getting organized and finding success. They asked who likes poetry, and when one student said she did not, they wanted to know why. When she told them that her favorite rapper was Drake, the poets saw an opportunity.

“Poetry is in the music,” Chukwuocha told the class. “That’s the way they express themselves.”

In another room, groups of girls took turns playing “Kahoot,” an online trivia game in which they used tablets to answer dozens of questions about prominent African Americans.

Down the hall, the students made bracelets using various beads. Serviam principal Altina Herbert said each of the beads means something different in African culture, so it fit in with their social studies curriculum.

Eighth-grader Misty Osborne said making the bracelet meant a lot to her.

“Each African bead has a symbolization. Certain ones don’t. They’re just very pretty. For example, the flower one symbolizes peace and beauty in their land. We’re just trying to make bracelets and represent our culture,” she said.

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