In celebration of African American History Month and History Night, Johnston Elementary’s version of a walk through history included an evening filled with historical music, art, social studies projects, and a wax museum.  Parents and other guests were greeted by the haunting strains of “Follow the Drinking Gourd”, a song purported to have been used by fugitive slaves in America as they made their way to freedom. It was performed by Brooke Naidu’s music students. Bailey Amick’s student art work depicting Dr. Martin Luther King’s quote,Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” decorated the walls through several parts of the building.

On the primary hall of JES, student projects were displayed. Child Development students had made tri-folds featuring, Garrett Morgan inventor of the modern day traffic light. Kindergarten students chose a famous American, wrote about him/her, and drew a picture.  First graders collaborated on a grade level project. They constructed a wall size “quilt” featuring Frederick Douglas. Each quilt square contained a sketch and fact about Douglas.

Further into the building, second graders shared what they had learned through their research projects on African American inventors.  Students could be heard giving facts about George Washington Carver, George Crum, and Philip B. Downing, to name a few. Perhaps the most amazing part of the JES history event was the “wax museum” which had 3rd;, 4th, and 5th graders dressed as explorers of South Carolina, Revolutionary War figures, abolitionists, Civil War figures, and modern day public figures.  As each historical figure was touched, he gave a brief description of what his contribution was to the making of America. More than 35 persons pertinent to American history were represented.  

Assistant Principal, Kevin Butler, shared his feelings about the evening, “The entire evening was fabulous.  The parents had the opportunity to see their children dressed as historical figures and hear them share facts about the roles these people played in our history.  The parental support was unbelievable.” For more school news visit our Website, http://jes.edgefield.k12.sc.us or our Facebook page, Johnston Elementary Bears.

1st graders, Karsyn Rawls, Christopher Culbreath, Trace Padgett, and Bentley Mattson pose in front of the Frederick Douglas quilt.

Brandon Thomas, Cassie Tilson, Emily Cassarubias, Ny’Asia McKinney, Kenneth Palma, Ger’Mai Chaney, and Kelly Widell sing “Follow the Drinking Gourd” for parents and other guests.

Grace Viseth, Ben Collar, and K’mari Jones portray historical figures in the JES Wax Museum.