Northside Elementary Summer School Students Perform Plays About Civil Rights and the Gruffalo (VIEW VIDEOS HERE)

June 14, 2019
By: Dwayne Page

Fourth and fifth grade summer school students at Northside Elementary School presented “Ayanna the Brave” Friday afternoon for the public.

M2U03003 from dwayne page on Vimeo.


The play was based on civil rights activist Ayanna Najuma. In 1958, seven-year-old Ayanna joined many other kids her age and older in the Oklahoma City sit-ins to protest segregation. Ayanna and her friends continued participating in sit-ins around Oklahoma City for six years, and finally in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, making segregation illegal.

The play was directed by Teacher Alisha Day and Kristy Lasser.

Meanwhile second and third graders at the school performed in a reader’s theater play based on the book “The Gruffalo”

M2U03002 from dwayne page on Vimeo.

“The book is about a creature that some of the animals in the story aren’t sure really exists but they find out as the story goes along that the Gruffalo does exist,” said Beth Pafford, Assistant Principal at Northside Elementary.

Pafford said the plays have become an annual summer school event that help students with their reading skills as well as their listening, speaking, vocabulary comprehension, and self confidence.

“As part of our summer school program each year our students work to put on a performance for their families and we do that because we believe and studies show that it promotes development of reading skills and speaks directly to the students’ social studies skills . It also gets the families involved in reading with their kids and sharing that experience which is very important,” said Pafford.

“We appreciate everyone who has helped make this possible and to make summer school such a rewarding and rich experience for our students every year,” Pafford concluded.