Washtenaw County students to perform at annual NAAPID at Night talent show
Students from multiple Washtenaw County school districts will perform Monday at the 10th annual National African American Parent Involvement Day at Night Showcase of Student Talent.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com file photo
The event is at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, at Lincoln High School District Performing Arts Center, 7425 Willis Road, in Augusta Township. The event is free and open to the public.
NAAPID chair Shoshana DeMaria said this year's show will feature students from kindergarten through 12th grade from Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Willow Run, Lincoln, Milan, and Saline school districts.
For Blake Hensley, a magician and senior at Saline High School, this is the third year he's performed at the event.
"I love doing magic," he said. "...This year, I’m doing a trick where I pull a string out of my eye."
The event will be catered by South West Washtenaw Consortium Culinary Arts Students of Saline, Dexter and Lincoln High Schools, under the supervision of instructor Sam Musto.
"The students are involved with everything that NAAPID does," DeMaria said. "They do the culinary arts. They do the exhibits. They even MC the shows."
Food will be served at 5:30 p.m. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Demaria said students and parents of all backgrounds are encouraged to participate.
"It is for everyone, for all students," she said. "But in particular, it is for African American students. The focus is on them, because African American kids in particular fall between the gap in education."
The event will feature a poster contest. The contest is separated into high school, middle school, upper and lower elementary, and kindergarten. The prizes for first place poster in each age group are $200, $150, $100, and $50, respectively.
"We ask the parents to ensure that goes toward their education," DeMaria said.
DeMaria said NAAPID at Night has been a very successful program, with attendance consistently exceeding 500 people. Despite that, the program has seen a decline in funding.
Previously, it received donations from participating school districts, but many of those donations have ceased, because districts no longer have the money to spare.
DeMaria said organizers had enough money in reserves to finance this year's event, but they will need to find funding to continue the event next year.
"We are applying for grants, and hopefully we will get some money in," she said. "It’s a needed program. It’s for children. So I’m anticipating we will get something for next year. I’m not sure from where, but we will apply and we’re hoping that it comes through."