Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Country meets city: Nettleton & Homecraft give civil rights concert

Nettleton student Giana Presley Baum sings on the stage of the Mitchell Auditorium at the College of St. Scholastica. Baum was one of 280 to participate in a joint concert of Nettleton Magnet School and Home-croft Elementary Schools. “Songs of the Civil Rights” was the theme.All students wore T-shirts that read, “Peace begins with me!"

Students of Nettleton and Homecroft schools performed a rousing concert of civil rights songs on the stage of the Mitchell Auditorium at the College of St. Scholastica on Tuesday, March 18.

Over 450 parents, siblings and friends watched and listened as traditional American Folk Songs, such as “Get on Board, Children,” “I’m Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table” and “We shall Overcome” were interspersed with short commentary by the students about events in the history of the American Civil Rights Movement.

The concert was part of a Peace grant project and involved 280 students in grades 3 through 5. Many Nettleton and Homecroft students will attend Woodland Middle School together starting in 6th grade.

Tywuan Young introduced the first song, saying, “Get on board children, let’s fight for human rights. It’s not just adults but young people, kids just like us!”
Tywuan, grade 5, is the son of La Donna Adams. Her daughter, Ashanti Young, grade 3, was also in the chorus.

Adams said she is impressed with Nettleton School. She appreciates the leadership of the staff. “They are very family-oriented,” she said. “They care for the children.”

On an Internet website,, Nick Lansing posted, “Two of our four children attend Nettleton. It’s a gem. Nettleton is in the city’s poorest, ‘toughest’ neighborhood, yet parents throughout the district send their children there. The strengths are the many extracurricular activities, aggressive pursuit of grant dollars, and Principal Heilig’s leadership.”

Nettleton is located at 108 E. Sixth St. Homecroft is located at 4784 Howard Gnesen Road.
Nettleton students are mostly from inner city Duluth, while Homecroft students include students living in the country.

Shari Rud, principal of Homecroft said some students come from as far as Caribou and Island Lake and not many ethnic minorities attend Homecroft. She said the concert was, “Country kids and city kids working together and becoming friends.” She added, “It was a spectular peformance ... It’s what we are all about, being kind, not harassing or bullying each other.”
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