FWCS Celebrates Black History Month - February 10, 2009

Record Number: 4737
Displayed from: Feb 10, 2009 , until: Feb 28, 2009

Schools throughout the Fort Wayne Community Schools district will celebrate Black History Month with a variety of educational activities. From book studies to trivia contests to performing in their own Living History Museum, students will be actively engaged in learning about African-American history. Elementary Schools Many students at Croninger participated in a book study about George Washington Carver. In addition to reading a book and participating in related activities, students watched a documentary about Carver and compared and contrasted the information from the video and the book. Students will also study 14 other famous African-Americans. All fourth-graders in the school will visit the African-American Historical Museum. In one classroom at Forest Park, students are learning about 30 different African-Americans over the next few weeks. Each day the class talks about one person and his/her contributions to America. Daily work will be compiled into a book to take home. Another class is studying artist/illustrator/author Faith Ringgold, and another is reading Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine. One group of Harris fourth- and fifth-graders are working together on a bulletin board with the theme, Remembering the Past, Changing the Future. Fifth-graders are researching African-Americans of the past, focusing on what they did for their community, country or the world, while fourth-graders are listening to daily read-alouds about more recent African-Americans and their contributions to shape the future. Another fourth-grade class recently finished studying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and race relations and is moving onto Harriet Tubman and slavery. Fourth-graders will also be helping a class of first-graders make Black American Stars. The first-graders each have a person they are learning about and will discuss that person with the class. At Harrison Hill, third through fifth grades will tour the African-African Historical Museum. Each day during morning announcements, student council members share a Who Am I? activity. Three clues are given and each class is to figure out who the three clues are about. The school's media center is sharing the story of Henry's Freedom Box with kindergarten through third-grade students while fourth- and fifth-graders will read a diary about a slave girl. Pleasant Center is studying freedom this month, including lessons on the Underground Railroad, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and the Statue of Liberty. South Wayne is having a Fabulous Parent Night from 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb.12. The evening includes ideas to help parents work with their children to enhance their reading skills, celebrate Black History Month and hear from local children's author Charles Cush. He will talk about how each child has unlimited potential and read his book, From Acorns to Oak Trees. Every parent who attends the parent night will receive a free, autographed copy of the book. Refreshments will be provided. Condra Ridley kicked off Black History Month at St. Joseph Central by sharing African-American Folktales during two performances on Feb. 3. Weisser Park classes are reading books about real and fictional characters who speak to the importance of black history. The daily announcements feature musical selections focusing on African-American artists. This year, the school is tracing the roots of American Jazz, starting with spirituals, early jazz and rag time, and then spotlighting more contemporary artists who have roots in this form of music. Whitney Young Early Childhood Center will have West African drumming and dance classes beginning Feb. 17.
Middle Schools Blackhawk is having a Black History Month Trivia Contest every morning. Instead of the school's traditional Thought for the Day, students will test their knowledge of African-Americans who have made significant contributions in art, music, politics, sports and more. Students drop off their answers in the main office during the day and those who have the correct answer are given a treat. Jefferson also has a daily trivia contest highlighting African-American accomplishments. The daily question is read during morning announcements, and student entries are accepted throughout the day. A calendar in the main hall will highlight accomplishments by African-Americans, and teachers throughout the building are touching on Black History as part of classroom activities. Art students at Kekionga will spend the month studying the works of famous black artists. In addition, students are hosting a Black History Month moment in the morning announcements. Research done throughout the month by Miami students will come to life during the school's Living Museum display on Thursday, Feb. 26. Students will create a tri-fold display board based on their chosen character, and from 3-6 p.m., students will portray the character and make a presentation based on their research paper and display based on their research paper and display board. Community members will be invited to participate in judging the Living Museum contestants. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded for each grade level in three categories: best display, best costume and best oration. Combining the message of the book Dream Manager and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous speech, Shawnee has posted I Have a Dream signs around the school. Students are writing Black History Trivia, which are read each day during the morning announcements. Students write down their guesses and winners are rewarded at lunch. The Tuesday Express Yourself writing prompt features quotes by famous African-Americans. Classroom teachers are also incorporating African-American history into their lessons throughout the month. High Schools An Elmhurst class is watching a documentary on Percy Julian, a chemist responsible for many products that we use today. It shares his struggles with breaking through the race barrier at Harvard and how he became a successful businessman. Each day during North Side's morning announcements, an African-American hero is identified. This month's visit by Coach Tony Dungy played a part in the school's focus on African-American heroes as he was the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl. Northrop's staff is having a Soul Food luncheon from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18. The menu includes ribs, fried cat fish and smoked turkey.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.