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Wes Hight / Dispatch Staff

The Pride of 2021 act out part of a skit of “The Eye of the Tiger” at Henderson Collegiate’s annual Pride Night.

Nasir Davis, Angel Williams and Dvare Richardson (left to right) of the Class of 2022 act out their part in the skit at the annual Pride Night for Henderson Collegiate.

LOUISBURG — In past years, Henderson Collegiate’s Parent Pride night has been held at the Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center. But this year, the school needed a bigger venue to accommodate parents and relatives for all 400 students.

The performing arts center at Louisburg College could hardly contain all the guests who came out for the school’s fourth annual Parent Pride, where grades 4-7 showcase their knowledge and talents.

School leader Eric Sanchez said he was amazed by the number of parents who turned out Thursday night.

“When you are doing something special, it’s going to be hard and you have to embrace that, and you guys do embrace that,” Sanchez told the parents.

Carolyn Faines came to see her grandson, Tersaviyon Hargrove, who is in the Pride of 2021.

Faines said even though Hargrove is repeating the fifth grade, he loves the school.

“They brought him back as a hero, and he felt like the leader of the pack,” she said. “And I really admire his teachers and everyone for doing that.”

At Henderson Collegiate, each grade is referred to by the year those students will graduate.

The fourth grade, or Pride of 2022, began the night with a class chant and a summary of a book they recently finished reading, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Ronald Dahl.

A line of fourth-grade students formed at the front of the stage to tell the story, while classmates acted out the visual scenes and added sound effects.

In keeping with tradition, the Pride of 2021 took a piece of literature and adapted it to show the school’s values.

Last year, they remade the “Grinch Who Stole Christmas” into “The Grinch Who Hated Reading.”

This year, “Twas the Night Before Christmas” became “Twas the Night Before Benchmarks.”

In the students’ rendition, an evil test taker with reindeer minions tried to thwart students’ success on the exams by keeping them awake the night before the test.

The evil test taker tried to convince students that preparing the night before would do them no good.

But the Pride of 2021 knew better than to believe her.

“We know you’re wrong,” the students said. “Being smart is a choice, it’s as simple as that.”

The Pride of 2020 sang the “Eye of the Tiger,” which the class described as a look of resilience.

“Resilience means toughness in the face of challenges,” one student remarked.

The Pride of 2019 sang “Seasons of Love” and performed the poem, “There is a hole in my sidewalk” by Portia Nelson.

“I own my own learning,” the students shouted at the end of reading the poem. “We are college bound!”

One mission of Henderson Collegiate is 100 percent of students will attend the college of their choice. The school offers grades 4-7, but it will add a new grade each year.

“We talk about 100 percent all the time and it can become kind of cliche,” Sanchez said. “But then there are times like today when you see how real it is.”

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.

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