Friday, February 21, 2020

In celebration of Black History Month, Carmel Academy’s students learned about the contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout our nation’s history.

Each morning throughout the month, as students entered school, they were greeted with an informative slide and video featuring a famous black American including: choreographer Alvin Ailey, Olympic athlete Jesse Owens, jazz musician Duke Ellington, medical researcher Dr. Charles Drew, abolitionist Harriet Tubman, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson and writer Zora Neale Hurston to name a few.

Students then learned more about each featured person in their classrooms, while in music class students they were introduced to musical genres from black culture including blues, jazz and soul.

“In these times, it is really critical for all students to recognize the unique contributions that people of all races and backgrounds have made on this wonderful country, and the lasting legacy these activists, scientists, writers, artists, athletes, choreographers, musicians and scientists have made on American culture. Our students have also recognized the bravery many of these historical figures exhibited,” said Jennifer Gensior, Carmel’s director of general studies curriculum.

Even Carmel Academy’s youngest students, in transitional kindergarten, learned about Ella Jenkins, a children’s educator and musician who is famously known for her use of call-and-response singing. 

Fifth grader Eden Citron said learning about black Americans who influenced history is an important lesson for her and her classmates. “There is not a lot of racial diversity at school, so this is so important to learn about African Americans. I am really thankful to have this opportunity.”

“I am so happy that our school is taking Black History Month so seriously,” said fifth grader Arielle Seligmann. “We are very privileged with the opportunities we have and we need to remember that many of the people we are learning about faced a lot of challenges...There are so many things wrong with history and we need to learn about that so those same mistakes aren’t made today. We can make a change in our own way.” 

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