Annual Kwanzaa celebrations continue in local schools and community

Kwanzaa Celebration at Greene County High School, Wednesday, December 18, 2019.
Kwanzaa Celebration at Robert Brown Middle School, Tuesday, December, 17, 2019.
Kwanzaa Celebration at Eutaw Primary School, Wednesday, December, 18, 2019.

The annual Kwanzaa cultural celebrations in Greene County were held at each of the local schools as well as in a public event for the community. The week before the December holiday season, students at Eutaw Primary, Robert Brown Middle and Greene County High were engaged in the annual Kwanzaa Cultural presentations co-sponsored by the Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Harambe Community Youth Organization. The community Kwanzaa was held Monday, December 30, 2019 at the Eutaw Activity Center.
Although many of the young students were not familiar with the concept, history and principals of Kwanzaa, they were eager to participate, even learning some of the Swahili terms and names used in the presentation.
Kwanzaa is a harvest celebration honoring the culture and heritage of African Americans, which brings the community together to lift the blessings of the ending year and to pledge and dedicate themselves toward working together to build a better community for everyone.
The community Kwanzaa participants included members from the sponsoring organizations, students from the local schools and the 2020 Debutant Class. Mrs. Isaac Atkins, President of the Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. brought greetings and also introduced chapter members present.
The community Kwanzaa celebration was honored with musical selections provided by the Greene County Community Choir. Rev. Joe N. Webb led the devotions and blessing of the Harvest Feast.
The community shared the Talking Stick for expressions of the Kwanzaa Principles.
The dishes for the feast were provided by the community attendees.
The seven day Kwanzaa observance begins December 26 through January 1. Kwanzaa was founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga at the time of the Watts Riots in California in the 1960’s. Dr. Karenga was seeking a positive approach for rebuilding communities and celebrating African American history and culture. He took the name for the holiday from the Swahili word Kwanzaa meaning first fruits of the harvest.
The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa also lift the values to strive for in our lives and communities: Umoja – Unity; Kujichagulia – Self Determination; Ujima – Collective Work and Responsibility; Ujamaa – Cooperatives; Nia – Purpose; Kuumba – Creativity; and Imani – Faith.

Greene County schools student enrollment inches up

Greene County Schools Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones displays plaque presented to school board members at AASB District 7 meeting.

Greene County schools superintendent, Dr. Corey Jones, gave an update on current student enrollment as part of his report to the board at its regularly scheduled meeting, Monday, September 16, 2019. Dr. Jones stated that enrollment at Eutaw Primary is currently at 349; at Robert Brown Middle School 351 and at Greene County High School 296. He noted that since this report was prepared, three more students have enrolled bringing the total school system enrollment to 999.
“The system still has 55 fewer students than last school year at this time,” he said. Dr. Jones explained that his office is still pursuing students, not currently in the system, who were here last year to determine if they have relocated or other circumstances prevail. `“ We are still within the 20 days after Labor Day to enroll students and claim state support; however we will accept students even after that period and do our best to provide them a quality education,” stated Superintendent Jones.
In his update on Assessment & Instruction, Dr. Jones stated that the school system is utilizing the Scantron Benchmark Assessment. He noted the schedule for testing in 2019 includes September 3-16; December 2-13; March 9-3 and March 23-27, 2020. The superintendent also noted the tentative dates for District Student Assessments.
Dr. Jones remarked on the various incentives related to student and personnel motivation at a school; facility preservation and student achievement. The school winning the motivation award for the month will be presented a banner acknowledging the same. The maintenance staff at the school receiving the preservation award will be treated to lunch. Students will receive special certificates of achievement.
Dr. Jones announced that the Greene County School Board received the School Board Member Academy President’s Award 2019 for demonstrating a commitment to excellence in education through boardsmanship training, presented by the Alabama Association of School Boards at the annual District 7 meeting in Tuscaloosa, September 9, 2019.
The personnel items recommended by the superintendent and approved by the board included the following.

  • Employment: Kelvineshia Williams, Science Teacher, Greene County High School; William Mack, Bus Driver, Department of Transportation; Wenonna Peebles, Special Needs Bus Driver, Department of Transportation; Twelia Morris, Secretary, Greene County Career Center.
  • Employment with 21st Century Community Learning Centers: Andrea Perry, Director; 21st Century Personnel at Eutaw Primary School – Keisha Williams, Lead Teacher; Dominique McDaniel, Teacher; Genetta Bishop, Teacher; Pamela Pasteur, Teacher; Elona Washington, Teacher; Denise Horton, Teacher Assistant. 21st Century Personnel at RBMS – Drenda Morton, Lead Teacher; Vanessa Bryant, Teacher; Katoya Quarles, Teacher; Alisa Allen, Teacher; Annie Howard, Teacher; Raven Bryant, Teacher; Mary Hobson, Assistant Teacher; Pinkie Travis, Substitute Teacher; Ayanna Crawford, Bus Driver; Marcus Steele, Substitute Bus Driver.
    The board approved the following administrative items: School Resource Officer Contract; Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.