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Bridge Street Middle School To Mark Black History Month With Virtual Event

Bridge Street Middle School will honor “the past, present and future of our local Black community” with a virtual event tonight.

The school will stream a Black History Month Program at 6:30 p.m. tonight, featuring speeches from local leaders in the Black community.

The event can be viewed by Bridge Street students and families through a Schoology link emailed to them. It is also being recorded, and is expected to be made available for viewing by the public in the coming days through the school’s Facebook page, according to principal Jessica Broski-Birch.

“Black history is American history, and we wanted to bring a local aspect to it, as well,” she said. “Black History Month often focuses on the bigger level and nationally — the abolitionists and the Civil Rights Movement. Those things are important, but we wanted to make things more personal and to reach out to our community. How does this affect our area? How does it affect the people here?”

Speakers include Ron Scott,cultural diversity and community outreach director for the YWCA Wheeling, Owens Brown, president of the West Virginia NAACP; Michael McIntyre, president of the Steubenville NAACP; and Jerry Moore, president of the Belmont County NAACP.

A representative from each grade level will present their Black History Month project completed as part of classwork.

There will be performances by Bridge Street students, as well as local Black history trivia read by local Black business owners.

“We are going to shine the spotlight on people who deserve to have the spotlight shone on them to make it more personal,” Broski-Birch said.

Most of the presentations have been pre-recorded, Broski-Birch said.

This is the first year the school has attempted a full Black History Month program. In past years, the school has invited in a speaker for an assembly to commemorate Black history

The COVID-19 pandemic, though, caused some concern this year.

“This year we had to think, ‘How do we have an event without bringing someone in, and not have a large group together?'” Broski-Birch said.

The virtual format actually resulted in more speakers participating, as they were able to pre-record and send their presentations to the school.

“This had made it more convenient for them,” Broski-Birch said. “They sent their speeches in and we put them together in a compilation.”

“I hope this is received as well as I expect it to be. Everyone seems excited , and we want to open it up to a larger audience next year. We hope to build this in the future.”

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