Years ago, York Prep had a tradition where the students and staff were “kidnapped” and surprised by administration by being taken to a movie. This year, everyone was happy to learn that Mr. and Mrs. Stewart were generous enough to bring back that community-building day. While the element of surprise may have been fleeting; the school administrators were thrilled to incorporate the recent culmination of Black History Month and the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. Thus Wednesday, March 4th, was considered a thematic school day: a day of reflection and a day of wisdom gained through the “scourge of war” and the fight for the dignity and worth of every human being.
The entire school was invited to first attend the Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address Assembly, which was a presentation of original student essays and a recitation of Lincoln’s famed address by junior Trevor Viscardi, who was dressed for the part. Afterwards, students took an early lunch in order to spend the afternoon at the AMC Lincoln Center, just a block and a half east of school. One student felt that the assembly was particularly inspiring not just for the content of Lincoln’s speech but because of his classmates’ interpretations and comments on the address.
In commemoration of Black history Month, the students and faculty were treated to a private screening of the Oscar nominated historical drama, Selma. As the Civil Rights Movement is often touched upon across all grades, the administrators believed that Selma is a meaningful chronicle of events that are part of that movement. Many hadn’t yet seen it and were eager to watch the film for themselves but even those who already had were happy to have the chance to see it again. While most of the faculty praised the film as “excellent” and “very powerful,” it was the reaction of the students that proved the trip to be worthwhile. They felt that the story told in Selma was emotionally moving; having enough sad moments that one junior admitted she nearly cried. At the end of the day, these two events presented quite an enjoyable opportunity to bring learning outside of the classroom setting.