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Students celebrate Mardi Gras

The 2011 Mardi Gras royal court included Kimayah Chaney (queen-fifth grade), Ronald Thomas (prince, first grade), Kindall Sewell-Thomas (princess, second grade) and Horne Brown (king, third grade). -- Desiree Taylor

In the spirit of Mardi Gras, students from Cedar Park Elementary celebrated with their own festivities Tuesday.

In honor of “Fat Tuesday” pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students and the Selma CHAT Academy band and cheerleading squad, blared music, threw candy, wore masks and waved colorful banners while marching down Woodrow Avenue for their Mardi Gras parade.

Four students, who were crowned Mardi Gras king and queen and prince and princess during the school’s coronation ceremony Monday night, led the procession Tuesday.

In its second year, both events helped to raise money for classroom supplies and reading material, teacher resources and computer software.

Krystal Dozier, first grade teacher for Cedar Park Elementary, said the school began fundraisers in January. Due to the collaborative efforts of teachers and staff, she said, the Mardi Gras activities have been a great success.

“We’ve raised a lot of money this year and we worked really hard,” said Dozier, who also helped with the parade. “Parents, local businesses and churches have been very supportive with donations. I think it will continue to be successful.”

Bertram Pickney, principal for Cedar Park, said the event helps the school during a dismal time.

“Aside from financial woes of the school system throughout the country, with proration and budget cuts, it’s a good time for parent and teacher involvement,” Pickney said. “Teachers and parents are in this together.”

Pickney’s future goals are to bring more technology to the school to help students become well-rounded individuals.

“My goal is exposure and I want to avail students academically and culturally as much as possible,” Pickney said. “Exposure is a major contributor to education.”

Third grader Horne Brown and fifth grader Kamiyah Chaney were the 2011 Mardi Gras king and queen and first grader Ronald Thomas and second grader Kindall Sewell-Murphy were the 2011 Mardi Gras prince and princess.

Dozier said the event would not have been possible without the following sponsors: First Cahawba Bank, Tabernacle Baptist Church, Fred’s Flower and Gift Shop, The Flower Basket, A&R Sales and George Tarver.