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U.S. Senator Gillibrand Visits Westbury High School

On Friday, March 19, as part of Women’s History Month, United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and junior and seniors at Westbury High School explored the life of three famous African-American women through an interactive program offered by Cablevision’s Power to Learn, a multi-faceted initiative dedicated to integrating technology into education, and the AETN Biography Channel. Also participating in the program was A&E Television Networks Chief Historian Dr. Libby O’Connell.    

Participating students were from Advanced Placement U.S. History and African American/Latino Studies classes. Using the Biography Channel’s Crucibles of Courage documentary as a study tool, students explored the lives of three courageous African-American women who changed the course of U.S. history – Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, women’s rights activist and journalist Ida B. Wells and opera singer Marian Anderson.  

Students also discussed the importance of women’s history and cultural diversity in education with Senator Gillibrand and participated in a live, question-and-answer session with Dr. O’Connell.  At the close of the program, Cablevision presented a $2,500 check to Westbury High School in furtherance of its African-American and Latino Studies programs.

Senator Gillibrand applauded the students’ efforts and thanked Cablevision for the program that focused on Women’s History Month, “I am so proud of the students at Westbury High School for their thoughtful and enthusiastic presentation. Enriching education in our schools with advanced technology is a critical way to ensure our children are equipped with the fundamental building blocks of success in the modern world. Today’s program was innovative and interactive, and I could see how engaged the students were as we discussed these three amazing women and the importance of cultural diversity in our society,” she said.

Superintendent Dr. Constance Clark-Snead noted, “It’s vital that students are familiar with and appreciative of the many contributions made by African-American women throughout history. The three influential women studied today define courage and serve as sources of inspiration for Americans of all backgrounds.”

Dr. Manual Arias, Westbury High School principal, commented, “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Cablevision’s Power to Learn and the Biography Channel, for making this program available to our students.  Each of the women profiled changed the course of American history for the better in their own unique way. They remain true sources of inspiration for Americans of all ages.”

Students from Westbury High School were given the opportunity to cover this event as MSG Varsity crewmembers. Westbury High School’s story will run on MSG Varsity’s television channel and its website at