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Mount Vernon Community That Cares through the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau Presents 5th Annual Black History Month Challenge

Mount Vernon, NY – On February 16, 2012, The Mount Vernon Community That Cares coalitions through the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau hosted the fifth annual Black History Challenge. Eight teams from the local middle and high schools convened at the Mt. Vernon Armory from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM to display their knowledge of black history facts through a friendly competition. This year’s winner was the team from Thornton High School. Each participant from the winning team received a $25 gift card and a first place plaque. Healthy from Birth for Life, took second place honors.

Over 200 attendees and participants were at the event which featured a quiz show format competition with questions related to all aspects of African American history, and the contributions of blacks within the Sciences. Special guests included former City Council President and current City Council Member Karen Watts, Acting Commissioner of Recreation Reverend Darren Morton and Mount Vernon City School Board Vice President, Mark Stuckey.

The students from Columbus Elementary school were also present. They spent time during their art class with teacher, Mrs. Hubbard, cutting and decorating pictures of African American Scientist. The crowd also enjoyed music, poetry and a drum ceremony by Abishai Benruben and his students. Food and informational resource tables were also provided. This event is a vehicle used to encourage our youth to abstain from alcohol and drug use. The program was made possible through funding from the Drug Free Communities Grant and the City of Mount Vernon. This event was free and open to the public.

According to the Honorable Mayor Ernest D. Davis, “It is critical that our young people participate in programs that will not only educate them, but also teach them a sense of pride and appreciation for their history. Learning about the accomplishments of black trailblazers, both past and present, will empower youth to realize their potential greatness.”

“The MVCTC Coalition has done a tremendous job of uniting our youth and adults to create protective factors within the community. The challenge showcased the strengths of many students and their knowledge of history. Our youth have made passionate requests to replicate this event annually and thanks to the dedication of many volunteers, the city has been able to support this initiative, stated
DaMia Harris, Executive Director – Mount Vernon Youth Bureau.

For further information, please contact: Claudette Coote at (914) 665-2344 or ccoote@cmvny.com

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