Oklahoma City Schools Pause to Watch History Made

Tuesday, January 20th 2009, 7:05 pm
By: News 9

By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- For hundreds of students across the metro, books were set aside, and instead of reading about history, they watched it unfold firsthand.

From grade school to high school, students were excited about their future. If there's one lesson they've learned from President Obama it's that nothing is impossible.

At Ridgeview Elementary in Oklahoma City this inauguration program took on a special theme.

For Ridgeview students the celebration is about possibilities. Barack Obama is not just a new chapter in the history books, but a new way of thinking.

"If I want to be something, nothing can stop me, I just have to try," student Chong Doolin said.

"You can stand up and follow your dreams to be what you want to be when you grow up," student Athena Hipp said.

A standing ovation was given for the new president and at Northwest Classen High School students packed the auditorium as well as classrooms.

"I knew I could do anything, but he just showed me that anything is possible," student Tonya Burrell said.

For history students at Classen School of Advanced Studies, a recent lesson on slavery now has an ending.

"There's really nothing that we could have done more than watch that today to teach our kids how history is still important and how history still changes," Charlotte Dandriiole-Smith with Classen School of Advanced Studies said.

When Obama finishes his four year term the high school seniors will be finishing college. They're counting on him to get our country back on track.

"I hope that he can definitely bring more prosperity to America and keep it the greatest nation that this world has ever seen," student Calvin Wickham said.

"I think most of the students are just excited," student Leah Palmer said. "This is something so unreal, surreal; you don't think this would have happened."

Besides all the seriousness, there was some fun as well. Ridgeview Elementary bought about 500 shortbread cookies for the inauguration. Shortbread cookies are Michelle Obama's favorite.

A lot of schools in Oklahoma City held their own elections back in November, so watching the inauguration brought the political process full circle for those students.