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Sanford Middle School Presents Elders’ Wisdom, Children’s Song

October 3, 2011

Minneapolis, MN – Sanford Middle School will host a community celebration honoring four Sanford community elders at the Sanford Middle School auditorium on Tuesday, October 18th, 2011, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM. The Elder Wisdom, Children’s Song™ community celebration is brought to you by Community Celebration of Place (501-C-3) and the West Metro Education Program (WMEP).

Larry Long has been working with 7th grade students at Sanford Middle School to collectively write songs and gather recitations that honor the life stories of the following community elders:

  • Joe Senkyr-Minjares - Renowned actor, playwright, author and owner of Pepito’s Restaurant on 4820 Chicago Avenue South in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Born in north Minneapolis, Joe’s family was migrant workers. His granddaughter is in the 7th grade at Sanford Middle School.
  • Rita Vonch - She and her husband were one of the first bi-racial families to live in Rochester, Minnesota. They overcame great obstacles to raise their family. Born in south Minneapolis, Rita’s grandson is in the 7th grade at Sanford Middle School.
  • T. Mychael Rambo - Beloved educator, actor, and performer. Recipient of an Emmy Award and Sallie Award for his work with young people in education. Born in Rambo, Texas.
  • Adan Amin Awil - Adan was raised in a nomadic family, yet able to secure a college degree in London, England. He worked for the government of Somalia, but was forced to flee from the civil war with his family to the United States in 1996. Adan worked in the Minneapolis Public School District until retiring.


I had the most awesome musical experience of my life—when I heard the fourth grade children at Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion school sing “Your Song” honoring our Elders! One of the elders was my son John. WHAT A SONG!

Thank You, Jack Tschida

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