From left to right, Holden fifth graders Devon Saintdenis dressed as Abraham Lincoln, Van Duong dressed as Eleanor Roosevelt, Nabiel Yousif dressed as Albert Einstein and Aniello Yatooma dressed as Thomas Edison.

From left to right, Holden fifth graders Devon Saintdenis dressed as Abraham Lincoln, Van Duong dressed as Eleanor Roosevelt, Nabiel Yousif dressed as Albert Einstein and Aniello Yatooma dressed as Thomas Edison.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Historical figures come to life in wax museum

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published June 16, 2021

 Revanda Osahi brought to life William Shakespeare.

Revanda Osahi brought to life William Shakespeare.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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WARREN/STERLING HEIGHTS — Holden Elementary fifth grade teacher Frank Franczyk called it his “favorite day of the year.”

On May 28, the fifth grade students participated in the school’s annual wax museum. Holden is part of Warren Consolidated Schools.

Dressed in costumes and wigs and carrying props, the students presented themselves as famed historical figures, athletes, humanitarians and more inside the school cafeteria, where the wax museum was set up. A small group of virtual presenters also participated.

To become their alter egos, the fifth graders researched their subjects and wrote brief essays about them. Their audience was the school’s teachers and students who visited the museum by class. The fifth graders’ parents also were invited.

Franczyk and fifth grade teacher Elvisa Ejubovic, with support from media specialist Judy Franklin, oversaw the event. The students will receive a grade based on several aspects of their participation.

“The main goal was to give them some normalcy,” Ejubovic said. “They were so nervous but so excited this morning. It helps them with public speaking and gets them excited for school. They’re applying the things they’re learning.”

“The kids really enjoyed it,” Franczyk said. “I know they put a lot of effort into this.  They get to see their rewards. It’s just a good vibe in the building.”

With his fuzzy beard, top hat and trench coat, Devon Saintdenis said he felt “amazing” dressed as President Abraham Lincoln.

“He’s famous as the 16th leader. He’s so trustworthy that he’s on the $5 bill,” Saintdenis said. “He was known as one of our country’s greatest leaders. He was a person who saved slaves from slavery. He wanted to make everyone equal. I really think it’s heroic.”

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt got the proper send off from Van Duong.

“She changed the way people viewed first ladies,” Duong said. During her research, Duong learned that Roosevelt “advocated for African Americans and Asian Americans. She worked for human rights.”

Lavina Al Banosha has always had an interest in Amelia Earhart, so she studied the aviator to learn more about the pilot.

“I learned she disappeared when she flew over the Pacific Ocean and no one found her body,” Al Banosha said from under a pair of goggles, boots, coat and helmet. “I think she’s really an inspirational person. I love how she never gave up and she inspired a lot of people.”

Al Banosha was glad to be a part of the wax museum project.

“I love getting into the costume and presenting,” she said, adding she thought the other students “did good presentations.”

From his unkempt hairpiece to his white lab coat, Nabiel Yousif made the ideal Albert Einstein. Yousif talked about Einstein’s inventions.

“He was pretty cool to do my speech on,” Yousif said.

Dareen Matti shared information about her person, Malala Yousafzai.

“She stood up for the education of females even though she was shot,” Matti said of the Pakistani activist who survived her assassination attempt. “I think she was really interesting.”

Jacob Krzak chose his project on President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

“I picked it because he was a person I knew,” Krzak said. “I thought it would be easy to research it. He survived getting polio, but his legs were paralyzed.”

Jessica Bahoura studied Mother Teresa.

“She helped people in need, the blind, the aged and the disabled. She was a nun,” Bahoura said. “I think she’s good. She helped the poor and sick people.”

Other historical people included in the event were Galileo, Joe Louis, Nikola Tesla, Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Marie Antoinette, Blackbeard, Thomas Edison, Sitting Bull, Harriet Tubman and William Shakespeare.

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