When the new year begins so does the excitement and anticipation for what students in first to twelfth grade will showcase at the Winton Woods City Schools spectacular Night of Freedom event. An evening dedicated to powerful, inspiring, and bold presentations, performances, and art work centered around the topic of freedom. For the first time in Warrior history, the two-night event was held at the beautiful North and South campuses. Winton Woods parent Savion Gibson Sr. shared he was glad it was. “I definitely like that it is here. Now that we have the facilities to host something like this. It is incredible. They did a wonderful job.” He summarized his Night of Freedom experience as “amazing” and “beautiful”. His daughter Zoey Gibson, who is in the sixth grade, performed with the band. “We definitely have to come and support our kids. Whether your child performed in the band or had some art work we need to show up. It is necessary that the community is involved because these are our students.” His son Sayvon Gibson Jr. is in the fourth grade and also a student at the Winton Woods South Campus.
Guests were treated to delicious and nutritious hors d’oeuvres and beverages served by our Child Nutrition Department. Students held discussions with guests about their projects that were personal, creative, and thought provoking. For some students, it was a night to highlight their life and global issues like climate change. While for others, it was a time to highlight history - specifically American history. A group of high school students used a quilt to display their stories. Each student decorated a patch that best expressed who they were. On a nearby large touch-screen monitor was a duplicate photo of the quilt where guests could click on a specific patch and read a student’s story. One high school student talked about his move from the Dominican Republic to America for a better education.
Fourth-grade student Savion Gibson Jr. enjoyed his evening watching musical performances, seeing art, and walking around to view other projects with his family. For his project, he sketched an image of a policeman hovering over two people on the ground with a bat. “He was about to hit them,” said Gibson. “I drew this because I wanted to show people the violence that black people were going through then and how it still represents how it is today.” When I asked what he hoped people would take away from his presentation he said that “people should be treated appropriately.”
Families perused through honest and eye-opening artwork as students intentionally stationed throughout the buildings talked to adults about freedom issues they are passionate about.
As the district began to transition to all-district project-based learning for all students, it was important to provide opportunities to showcase our students’ culminating projects for our parents and community to see what teaching that engages really looks like