Practice makes perfect
Students hold wax museum for Black History Month
by Vanessa Cruz
Reporter Staff Writer
Mar 03, 2013 | 7865 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
POWER COUPLE -- President Barack and Michelle Obama at the Wax Museum. The couple were played by fifth graders Avelino Meza Garcia and Lissette Aimee Pichirilo.
view slideshow (10 images)

The Robert Fulton School annex in North Bergen held its fifth annual Wax Museum on Wednesday, Feb. 27 in celebration of Black History Month. Fourth, fifth and sixth graders dressed up and stood in place, mimicking wax figures from history, and came to life when anyone approached. They also created their own poster with a history timeline.

Annex is a subsection of school and is comprised of bilingual students. Students who are just beginning their English as a Second Language classes were allowed to recite their facts in Spanish.

“This was such a wonderful experience for our bilingual students,” said Bilingual/ESL District Supervisor Adamarys Galvin. “They were able to practice their public speaking and build their self-esteem while learning across the curriculum. We are so very proud of them. You can see how excited and important they are and that in itself is priceless.”

Staying in character

Part of the assignment was for students to determine why their African-American person was so important.

“As the students become these important names in history, they teach others about the significant contributions made by so many African-Americans,” said teacher Jill Stein. “This event is also special because our population is bilingual and our students are still learning English. I want them to grow up feeling proud and confident of their heritage. I think that a wonderful way to do that is to celebrate another heritage.”

Robert Fulton Annex’s cafeteria housed an array of 55 students who played politicians, athletes, inventors, scientists, civil right activists, explorers, performers, or singers.

United States power couple, the Obamas were present for the momentous occasion.


“As the students become these important names in history, they teach others about the significant contributions made by so many African Americans.” – Teacher Jill Stein


“I was born January 17, 1964,” said Lissette Pichirilo as Michelle Obama. “I have two daughters, Malia and Sasha. I am the wife of Barack Obama. Why I am important is because I am a lawyer and I’m working on a project of [creating a school] for kids. I’m the wife of the 45th president of the United States.”

“I was born August 4, 1961,” said Avelino Meza Garcia as President Barack Obama. “I’m a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School. I was president of the Harvard Law Review. I served the 13th district in the Illinois state from 1997 to 2004. In 2004 I received national attention during my campaign to represent Illinois and my presidential campaign in 2007 and 2008. After a close primary against Hillary Clinton I won the delegates in the Democratic party to receive the presidential nomination. I then defeated nominee John McCain in the general election and was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009. I was sworn in for a second term on Jan. 20, 2013.”

A very important well known civil rights activist also made an appearance at the wax museum.

“I am so important because I was the most well known conductor of the Underground Railroad that was a network where the slaves escaped to freedom,” said Camila Gutierrez Fernandez as Harriet Tubman. “During the Civil War I helped by becoming a nurse, a soldier and a spy. After the war I continued working for what I believe and fighting woman’s suffrage rights. In 1849 I decided to escape slavery, I used the Underground Railroad. After the scary trip I finally made it to Pennsylvania and was finally free. I was so successful [helping] when the slaves escaped that at one point a slave owner offered a $40,000 for my capture.”

For many, life would not be the same without the inventor of potato chip, George Crum.

“I’m important because I invented the potato chips,” said Danny Erazo Munoz as George Crum. “I went to find a job looking as a chef. A woman didn’t like the French fries so I made her potato chips.”

Space explorers also were a part of the museum.

“First African-American to go to space,” said Jemina Vidal as Mae Jemison.

Vanessa Cruz can be reached at

Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet