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Celebrating Black History in the Classroom

Check out the creative ways teachers are honoring the contributions of Black leaders and individuals throughout the school year.

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Black History Month is a time to celebrate the Black experience: the culture and the people. Year-round, DonorsChoose teachers find new and exciting ways to show their students how Black history and culture shape our country today. As we reach the end of Black History Month, we’re showcasing some of the creative ways teachers are honoring the past and recognizing the contributions of Black leaders and individuals throughout the school year.

A Celebration of Culture

Each day, week, and month we are fortunate to be around students who care for and respect one another despite their differences. — Ms. Galvis, Building Connections Through a Celebration of Culture

Each year, Ms. Galvis invites Bright Star Children’s Theater to perform for the entire student body at her elementary school. Through dance, voice-acting, and drums, the actors tell folktales from Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. As the stories come to life before their eyes, Ms. Galvis can watch as her wish to “strengthen her students' awareness of their culture and roots” comes to life, too. 

See Ms. Galvis’ project

Bringing Books to Life

Mrs. Wolfe’s students have a special place in their hearts for the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He’s always a favorite for student-choice writing assignments. 

So when they asked her to give them a reading assignment that would inspire them as much as the film, Freedom Writers, Mrs. Wolfe turned to Dear Martin. 

“My students have recently watched "Freedom Writers" and were inspired and moved by the film. They want our next reading to be something as inspiring that they can connect with.”. -Mrs. Wolfe, Dear Martin, Thank You

“Dear Martin” is a young adult novel that follows the life of black teenager Justyce MacAllister as he processes the current political climate by writing letters to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. After reading the book, Mrs. Wolfe’s students will bring the book to life by writing their own letters to Dr. King. 

See Mrs. Wolfe’s project

Feeling Good in the Skin You're In

Amidst the pandemic, teachers have placed increasing importance on boosting their students’ social-emotional learning (SEL) skills.  Ms. Dobbins saw an opportunity to help her 2nd graders at Warner Girls Leadership Academy through a recent project. 

Despite the Black literature about little girls, our girls still struggle with their self-esteem, self-worth, and their natural-born identity. - Ms. Dobbins, Feeling Good in the Skin You’re In

By ordering ‘Black History’ shirts and accessories, Ms. Dobbins is helping promote a sense of self-awareness and pride in her students. Wearing the shirts and learning about the beauty of their Black heritage will give these girls memories and a sense of unity they will cherish for years to come.

See Ms. Dobbins’ project

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