Rose Martin, RSM – Executive Director, Hope Partnership for Education
The holidays shone brightly at Hope Partnership this year. Our middle-school students decked the halls with beautifully decorated Christmas trees and lovely crèches at every turn. The more they decorated, the harder it was to keep them focused in the classroom, but our teachers did their best.
We held our Kwanzaa Holiday Showcase on December 17th. The children began with a prayer and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Papa Kwanzaa paid a visit. Then the students told stories of life in Africa through African drumming, drama, and dance. Clad in colorful costumes and headdresses, the performers fully entered into their characters. Our Rising Sons and Queens shared how they saw themselves in the poem called “I Am.” Our Spanish Club sang Feliz Navidad. The 8th graders made an African-Cuban dance connection kept on point by the drummers. The Drama Club then masterfully presented the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa: Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith.
We gathered together to embody those principles by sharing a Kwanzaa feast to which every family contributed very generously. There was turkey with all the trimmings, endless platters of chicken, macaroni and cheese at its finest, delicious greens, fresh green salads, sweet potato pie, and other delectable desserts. We may be based in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, but you would never have known it that night. Everyone’s faces were shining with the joy, peace, and abundance of the season.
Thank you for bringing Hope to our community!