Davis students dance through the decades
NEW HAVEN — Students at Davis Academy for Arts and Design Innovation earned 10s across the board as they danced and sang their way through all 10 decades of the school’s 100-year history Friday.
The showcase of student talent was the second of two events the school did to celebrate its centennial this year after an alumni dinner last weekend with the three most recent principals in attendance.
“Today it’s the students’ turn,” said Principal Sequella Coleman.
Coleman said the school has a typewriter, which is something the students can only barely comprehend, as they’ve only known computers.
“I don’t know if 8- to 10-year-olds can look that far back,” said Meryl Alpert, a member of the centennial organizing committee and an alumna from 1960. “Everybody can only look back from where you are, and this is where they are now.”
Alpert, who left the city 37 years ago and returned two years ago, is now a volunteer reading coach at the school.
“It’s a different building, but it feels like home,” she said.
A group of third-graders wearing purple for an ’80s themed homage to Prince shared what they knew about the world 100 years ago.
“Black people couldn’t sit in the front of the bus with white people 100 years ago,” said Natalen Hardy.
“I think there was bombing everywhere,” said Anthony Turner.
Career High School freshmen students Areile Jowers and Shania Jackson said returning to their old school for the day only one year later felt nostalgic.
“When I was walking the halls, the schools seemed smaller to me. There’s less stairs than I remember because in high school you’re always walking up and down stairs,” said Areile.
Shania said seeing young children in the hallways made her remember her own experiences growing up in the school.
For nearly two hours, students celebrated the centennial by performing songs and dances from each decade; eighth-grade students recited poetry from the Harlem Renaissance in honor of the
1930s, fourth-grade students did the hustle for the 1970s and first-grade students sang along to “All Star” by Smash Mouth for the turn of the millennium.
“One hundred years is such a long time ago,” said third-grader Sarthak Shah.
Fourth-grade students at Davis Academy for Arts and Design Innovation School do the hustle during a schoolwide assembly celebrating the school’s centennial.