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Mayor Sarno and Mayoral Aide Lavar Click-Bruce Celebrate Black History Month with Students at Rebecca Johnson School with a Virtual Read Aloud

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Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Mayoral Aide Lavar Click-Bruce celebrated Black History Month with the students at Rebecca M. Johnson School with a virtual read aloud. Mayor Sarno joined with the students from Mrs. Sears’s third grade class and read one of the Mayor’s favorite books; A Homerun for Bunny by Richard Andersen, a true story about a Springfield baseball team that stood up for equality, sportsmanship, loyalty and friendship while experienced racial prejudice while playing in a baseball tournament in North Carolina in 1934. Lavar joined with Ms. Rapa and Ms. Griffe’s third grade classroom to read Game Maker, a book by Brian Hanni about the father of Basketball James Naismith.

Mayor Sarno states, “It was a pleasure to join with the students in Mrs. Sears’s third grade class and read to them one of my favorite books, A Homerun for Bunny and I can’t wait to be with them in person too!.  A true Springfield story about the American Legion Post 21 baseball team that stood up in solidarity for one of their teammates, Ernest ‘Bunny’ Taliaferro, who was African-American and experienced racial prejudice in North Carolina while the team was playing in a baseball tournament in 1934.  I also had the honor to get to know teammates the late Tony King (the book seen through his eyes) and the late Judge Daniel Keyes too.  On that fateful day in 1934, the team stood in support of their teammate, ‘Bunny’, and took a stand for equality, loyalty, sportsmanship and friendship.  Before Jackie Robinson, Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, they unanimously decided that if their teammate and friend ‘Bunny’ could not play they would not play either and decided to return home in protest to the unjust treatment they experienced in Gastonia, North Carolina.  I want to thank Principal Sutton, Mrs. Sears and all the students, staff and teachers at Rebecca M. Johnson for inviting Coach Lavar Click and myself to read to the students to celebrate Black History Month.  Although we could not be together in person, we had a great time reading and talking to the students virtually.  Our students are the future of our City of Springfield, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and our United States of America.  Many of them will go on to further their education and become teachers, doctors, athletes, business owners and more.  There is no limit to what they can accomplish and as the humble Mayor for the City of Springfield; my administration will continue to do what we can to make sure that our youth have the opportunities to succeed in life.”

Mayor Aide Click-Bruce said, “The children are our future.  They can accomplish anything as long as they continue to believe and have the support of family, friends and the community.  I want to thank the teachers and staff at Rebecca Johnson for holding this virtual read aloud and inviting me to celebrate Black History Month with the third grade students in Ms. Rapa and Ms. Griffe’s classroom.  I know we are all looking forward to the day where we can hold events like these in person.”               

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm