Prince George’s school celebrates its 50th anniversary


A class at JAmes McHenry Elementary re-created an all-star Latino baseball game that was held in New York 50 years ago. (Joni Crenshaw/James McHenry Elementary School )

The students at James McHenry Elementary School in Prince George’s County recently held a day-long celebration of the school’s golden anniversary by taking a step back in time to recognize other events and births that took place in 1963-1964.

One class remembered the inclusion of women’s volleyball in the Olympics by setting up volleyball nets and playing a few games. Another re-created an all-star Latino baseball game that was held in New York 50 years ago.

Kingsley Akinfeleye, a fifth-grader, pretended to be Roberto Clemente in the baseball game. And in a first-grade classroom, Angelique Stancil showed children how to play Pin the Tail on the Donkey, a party pastime that got its start about a half-century ago.

“We made a history lesson to take the kids back in time,” said Joni Crenshaw, a fifth-grade teacher at the Lanham school.

Crenshaw said that earlier in the year, the students learned about England. The school-wide celebration allowed them to learn a little about the Beatles and their American invasion, which took place 50 years ago.

The school also recognized first lady Michelle Obama, who celebrated her 50th birthday this year, and books such as “The Giving Tree” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which were published in 1964. Former NBA all-star Michael Jordan, Lucky Charms, the Ford Mustang and Sea World are all 50 or 51 today.

To celebrate Obamas birthday, Crenshaw said the students did some exercises and ate vegetables.

“Most of our students don’t know baseball,” Crenshaw said. “They definitely didn’t know Roberto Clemente. They had no idea who the Beatles were.”

Ovetta Wiggins writes about K-12 education.
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