African American Achievement Celebrated

Oscar Wright’s Fight For Love of Education Takes Hold
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Oscar Wright

More than 1,000 high-achieving Oakland public school students were honored this week by the African-American Education Task Force and the Oakland Unified School District at the 2009 African-American Honor Roll celebration. Held at Acts Full Gospel Church, at 1034 66th Ave., the eighth annual event recognized the top performing African-American students from grades eight through 12 in the city’s public schools. One of the largest ceremonies of its type in the nation, the annual African-American Honor Roll unites the Oakland community in support of promising scholars as students, parents and extended family members join teachers, principals, district administrators and education advocates in saluting academic excellence. Representatives from local educational institutions as well as Historically Black Colleges and Universities were on hand to discuss post-secondary education options as well as scholarship and grant opportunities. The event also featured performances by the Skyline High Jazz Band and Choir, as well as winners from the District’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Oratorical Fest competition. “This event honors African American kids who seldom get recognized for anything good,” said Oscar Wright, co-chair of the African American Task Force.  “We want to show our children who are playing by the rules, studying hard and doing well that we appreciate them and we are proud of all that they are doing.  We know that it is challenging and we wish them every success in the future.” Wandra Boyd, who also co-chairs the task force, expressed the pride in the students’ achievement. “Each year the percentage of African-American students who are honored increases; this demonstrates that more African-American students are achieving,” she said. “We hope this ceremony helps promote a greater understanding of and level of engagement in the educational process.”
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