BPI closes month with Black History Program

The Brownsville Preparatory Institute teamed up with its parents and teachers for its eighth annual Black History Program on Friday.

The event held at Florida A&M’s Foster-Tanner Recital Hall featured students of the institute performing monologues, speeches and readings honoring 24 different scientists.

All the students in the program, who ranged in age from 3 to 9, wore lab coats to honor the scientists.

Three college students – Claire Gelin, a first-year doctor of pharmacy and MBA candidate at Florida State University; David Singleton Jr., a third-year biology student from FSU; and Tonesha Lee, a fourth-year architecture student from FAMU – were honored.

The showcase continued with presentations by many of the institute’s students. Nyla Charles, 6, performed a three-paragraph speech highlighting the accomplishments of May Jameson.

Jameson was the first African-American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on Sept. 12, 1992.

“The mission here is to showcase the fact that our kids can achieve great things, no matter their age or what society says they can do,” said Patrick Charles, a BPI administrator.

Parents with children participating in the program had the chance to show their admiration for their kids’ work. Many of them wrote special messages to their children, encouraging their performances.

Parents such as Wayne Thompson, who has four children attending BPI, really believe in the program there.

“Their educational lives have been enriched by the Brownsville way,” Thompson said of his children. “The techniques they use are reinforced daily, both at school and at home.”

Rita Brown, BPI’s owner and founder, gave the final remarks.

“We just want people to know that anyone can learn, no matter their age or background,” Brown said. “Our mission is to push our kids to maximize their potential, as they will be the leaders of the world one day.”