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Inspiring black history

The Town Hall and Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. presented awards to five winners of their Black History Poster/Essay Contest during a ceremony at The Town Hall, 123 West 43rd Street in New York City.

This will be the 11th year of the competition, which began in 1997, and the 12th annual awards.

The winners were Leah Green and Tawanda Buddy from PS 221, 791 Empire Boulevard; Marshay Richardson and Miles Figaro of PS 154 in Manhattan and Sharahya Baskerville from PS 243, 1580 Dean Street.

The contest was open to school children grades three to eight who attended Town Hall’s annual Black History Month presentation in February, which was sponsored by Con Edison. The 2008 show featured the acclaimed dance troupe Step Afrika.

Following the performance, the students were invited to submit either a poster or essay expressing what they learned. At the ceremony, the winners received cash prizes given by Town Hall’s Executive Director Lawrence Zucker and Con Edison’s Manager of Strategic Partnerships Alton S. Murray.

The ceremony joined together the staffs of Town Hall and Con Edison, with the families and teachers of the winning students.

Con Edison has sponsored the festival at Town Hall since 1997. Both organizations continue their commitment to bringing quality entertainment to grade school children in an effort to illustrate the importance of Black History Month.

“Every year we receive incredibly creative, sophisticated artwork and essays from these youngsters,” said Marvin Leffler, president of Town Hall.

“It is extraordinary to see how they skillfully express what they’ve learned at the show. Working with Con Edison has expanded the opportunities for Town Hall to offer this kind of entertainment to thousands of school children, none of whom were asked to pay for their seat. We are thrilled to have ten years of success with Con Edison under our belts, and look forward to years of collaboration.”

There are 4,500 students from throughout New York City participating in the program.

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