Riverbend Celebrates Diversity

Black History Month has been celebrated since 1926. Riverbend acknowledges it by doing several different things.

Last year, four seniors, Zack Simms, Anderson Small, James King, and Bernard Web decided to initiate IAAM. IAAM stands for Inspiring African American Males. The club was established at Courtland during the 2013-2014 school year by Mr. Marks who used to be an assistant principal at Riverbend, but retired as Courtland’s principal. The Riverbend graduates felt the need to start IAAM here at Riverbend after several great tragedies over the course of their educational experience. IAAM mentors students who are chosen by Mrs. Subar, Chancellor Elementary’s counselor. They help them in class and encourage the boys to be pursuing college.

In addition to the IAAM club, we also have fourteen James Farmer Scholars at Riverbend. Throughout the month of February, they did trivia about Black History Month during lunches. They also did things like crosswords and word scrambles. Underrepresented populations such as females, African Americans, and first generation students to college are encouraged to become James Farmer Scholars. Rising seventh graders can be James Farmer Scholars by recommendations. Their academics, discipline, and the amount of rigorous courses they are taking is taken into account when being selected because only twelve students per county are allowed. They are invited to a meet and greet at The University of Mary Washington to be interviewed, determining who makes it. James Farmer Scholars are required to maintain a B average and take college coursework. They go to The University of Mary Washington once a month and have additional work to prep them for college. Mr. Goode is the county-wide coordinator, and Ms. Johnson coordinates activities, such as the trivia during lunch, with the students.

The last thing Riverbend did for Black History Month was a haiku contest. Students were encouraged to write an original, two to three line poem with 10-17 syllables about someone or something in black history. The four winners, Terrencia Johnson, Stephen Weresnick, Madison J. Williams, and Christopher White received iTunes gift cards. Honorable mention went to Madalyn Booren, and Mrs. Olson was the teacher winner, both earned a sweet treat.

Riverbend will continue to celebrate Black History Month annually, so next year you should join the celebration!