For Immediate Release - February 28, 2013


SPRINGFIELD – Thursday, February 28, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today visited with students and educators at the Homer Street Elementary School in Springfield to celebrate Black History Month. Throughout the month, the school community has participated in several activities and projects in honor of Black History Month.

“I am proud to join together with these students to celebrate the rich and diverse history that African-Americans have helped shape here in Massachusetts and around the world. It is important for each and every student to learn about the sacrifices our ancestors made to create a better future for us,” said Governor Patrick. “We must invest in our children to in order to continue this model of generational responsibility for our time and for the next generation.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to join Governor Patrick and Homer Street Elementary as we continue to celebrate Black History Month,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray.  “Homer Street Elementary engages students to understand and value a rich history of honored African-American heroes who have touched so many lives, and have left a legacy for future generations to achieve a high quality education and a bright future.” 

During today’s visit, Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray toured the school with teachers and students and watched presentations by students about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the challenges and sacrifices civil rights activists faced to have equal and fair rights for all. 

The Patrick-Murray Administration has hosted Black History Month events in both Springfield and Boston this year, honoring several significant milestones in 2013 for the Civil Rights Movement. It is the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the 50th anniversary of the murder of NAACP leader Medgar Evers, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing and President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ birth and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the construction of the Statue of Freedom atop the United States Capitol Dome.

About Homer Street Elementary School:

Homer Street Elementary School relies on family and community engagement for academic success and they maintain partnership programs with area colleges (American International College, Western New England University and Springfield College). The Homer Street School was identified as a Level 4 or “Turnaround” school in 2010 by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). In May 2010, then-Superintendent Alan Ingram named Kathleen Sullivan as principal. Ms. Sullivan was re-assigned to the Homer School in order to facilitate significant turnaround at the school. Homer Street School’s MCAS scores have soared each year since its designation as a Level 4 school, and the school was recognized by DESE and Commissioner Chester for the incredible academic gains made by their students.

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