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Ian Simmons (center) plays the part of the Grinch along with minions Darol Eaton, Zanique Jones and Ezekiel Bates as they act out a skit.

Vance-Granville Community College’s Civic Center was packed with family, friends and staff of Henderson Collegiate Wednesday night as students in grades four through six presented Parent Pride Night.

“It’s one of our biggest events,” said Carice Sanchez, co-founder of Henderson Collegiate with husband Eric Sanchez. “It’s just a cool moment for the school because it’s one of the rare opportunities where you have every single family, every single student all in the same building.”

The Pride of 2021 kicked off the performance with a “book talk” on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” where they presented a summary of the book with sound effects, singing and dancing.

The young fourth-graders added wit and humor to the story, causing the audience to erupt with laughter.

Next the Pride of 2020 presented their version of “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” with “The Grinch Who Hated Reading.”

Ian Simmons played the Grinch, plotting to burn books from the members of “Readville.” When one of the extraordinary readers of Readville gave the Grinch a book, he had a change of heart.

The fifth-graders also put their spin on D.J. Kool’s 1996 song, “Let Me Clear My Throat,” singing, “Let Me Read My Book.”

Lyrics in the song indicated that students in grade five have combined to read over 2,000 books, or 2.6 million words.

Finally, the Pride of 2019 hit the stage, presenting two skits, and a song, “College Baby” a spin on Carly Rae Jepsen’s famous teen pop song, “Call Me Maybe.”

“Hey we know our goal,” sang the sixth-graders, “they call us crazy, but here’s our mission, college baby!”

A closing skit depicted the future of a student waiting to see if he got in to either Duke or North Carolina, his top two choices for college.

After days of waiting for the mail, he receives acceptance letters from both schools.

The scene ends as the actor sits down to unpack a box after just arriving at his new dorm room. While the audience is left in the dark as to which school he chose, he pulls out a Henderson Collegiate sweatshirt, reminding them of where he came from.

The mission of Henderson Collegiate includes seeing every student attend the college of their choice.

“Our mission is that our kids are going to be better people,” said Eric Sanchez during closing statements. “That’s first and foremost, that they are going to attend the college of their choice, and that they’re going to change the world.”

Charisse Fain, a parent of a fifth-grader, described the passion and dedication all staff members have for the lives of children in the school.

“It’s an excellent school,” Fain said. “Her reading, her math, they’ve gone up. She grew significantly over a year.

“The teachers are wonderful. They work hard with them.”

Contact the writer at amauser@dispatchstaff.com.

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