Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

TAPS Performs for the National Park Service, Takoma Academy, Harriet Tubman, Potomac Conference, Juneteenth Day

TAPS Performs for the National Park Service

Story by Debra Anderson

At the Takoma Academy Preparatory School (TAPS) in Takoma Park, Md., teachers and administrators focus on graduating thinkers, achievers, peacemakers and servant leaders.

Earlier this year, kindergarten and first-grade students demonstrated those attributes when they were privileged to perform a special tribute to Harriet Tubman at the Harriet Tubman Visitor Center in Cambridge, Md. The National Park Service, which runs the center, invited the students to perform their tribute in honor of Juneteenth Day, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States.

The students’ performance was enthusiastically received by more than 50 individuals in the audience. Made up of center visitors, parents and friends, the spectators were mesmerized by the amazing performance.

Then first-grader Amnen Kebede played Tubman, giving a stellar solo presentation with her classmates backing her in song. Making numerous trips, the anti-slavery abolitionist escaped her owners and returned to the South to help lead others to freedom in the North as the “conductor” of the Underground Railroad.

Joycelyn Bethea, kindergarten and first-grade teacher at TAPS and organizer of the event, says, “Earlier this year, Elder Charles Tapp, Potomac Conference president, gave us the task as educators to go ‘Beyond the Walls’ in our ministry. The students certainly demonstrated that request during the Juneteenth celebration.”

After their performance, the students ended the day with a visit to the Harriet Tubman Museum. The stopover allowed them to fully engage in what they had been studying all year. 

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