PATERSON, NJ- Students from all across Paterson’s schools took to the stage at the JFK Educational Complex on Wednesday, performing in the District’s 8th annual Black History Month celebration.

Audience members were treated to well-rehearsed and confidently executed performances in a number of genres including jazz, drama, dance, poetry, song, and researched presentations.

Just prior to the curtain lifting Superintendent Eileen Shafer told those gathered that the night was an opportunity to “showcase our students, who believe everyone is created equal.” Reflecting on the oversized contributions of individuals like George Washington Carver, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Shafer said confidently that one day Paterson students will follow in their footsteps and be the “leaders of the 21st century.”

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The crowd was brought to its feet several times including following the performances of the Frank R. Lautenberg School’s Stallions drumline, percussion and vocal performance, and the Norman S. Weir Chorus’ rendition of Billy Joel’s “River of Dreams.”

The School 24 Concert Band’s versions of two Duke Ellington classics transported those in the auditorium back to the famed Cotton Club of the 1920’s, while Adam Quinones and Edwine Desire of the School of Education and Training at JFK could have as easily been on a Broadway stage.

Pastor Sharon Houston, in attendance to watch her granddaughter perform, summed it up best saying that every child that got on stage was “outstanding, brave, courageous.” Houston told TAPinto Paterson that she was glad that the children got a chance to show off their talents and that in its entirety the evening showed that “children are being education in the City of Paterson.”