Throughout the month of February, the students and staff at Kelly and Turner Elementary Schools planned activities to commemorate and celebrate Black History Month.
Turner Elementary students researched the many accomplishments African Americans have made in music, rounding off the month with a student-performed show titled “Live at the Apollo.” The performance featured each grade level’s favorite musicians and the historical development of music through song and dance.
The show also gave our six graders the opportunity to showcase their ability to use various types of media equipment, a skill they learned through a STEAM Maker Space project they participated in earlier this year. For this component, students filmed the interviews they conducted with African American school staff members, asking questions like: “What does Black History Month mean to you?” and “Who do you most identify with?” Clips from the interviews were played during portions of “Live at the Apollo.”
As for the students at Kelly, the culmination of their research produced the student-performed play “We Are More.” In the play, students expressed their frustrations with learning about the same people year after year. As much as they admire Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harriet Tubman, they wanted to hear about and honor the stories of other accomplished African Americans. The theme of wanting to learn more, and remembering that black history is far richer than its best-known icons, carried throughout the play. Students paid homage to various artists, activists and other notable African Americans such as Langston Hughes, Tupac Shakur, Fannie Lou Hamer, Maya Angelou and Joseph Echols Lowery.