Summit Academy – Toledo music teacher Heidi Hiznay guides students through a musical piece they will perform at the school’s Feb. 27 Black History Program.

The entire Summit Academy – Toledo student body will participate in a Black History Month Program on February 27 at the school. Students will spotlight great influencers from the black community, from Michael Jackson to Maya Angelou, says music teacher Heidi Hiznay. Presentations in poetry, art and several music pieces (featuring body percussion and singing) are expected to inspire a captivated audience of family members.

“It’s an opportunity to educate students in a new way and a great way to get our families in the building,” says Hiznay, adding that the school’s black history recognition spans year-round. “There is a rich experience there, which we choose to spotlight all the time.”

Students at Summit Academy – Toledo rehearse for the school’s upcoming Black History Program.

As students perform such songs as Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” and tell important stories through hip hop and rap, historical essays, poetry and fine art, Hiznay anticipates a program pleasing to the senses. Imagine paintings and sketches fashioned on school walls — gallery-style — and essays on display celebrating artists such as American portrait painter Kehinde Wiley and record Grammy winner Beyoncé. Hiznay adds that the program will be rich on many levels, including introspectively.

“I don’t want students to have a small world. I want them to have a wide world and to know the power of music and art.  They don’t learn until they see it and we give them a chance to see it,” Hiznay explains. “Summit Academy is more than a school and we’re going to give our students more. The teachers are here because they love it.”

This is the second year in a row that Summit Academy – Toledo has presented a school-wide Black History Program.