Honoring Black History this Month and Year-round

Lezlie T. HatcherLezlie T. Hatcher has worked in the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) for nearly 10 years, currently with the Black Student Achievement Program (BSAP) at Cradlerock Elementary School. Previously Hatcher was a drama instructor with HCPSS’ summer program. Here she blogs about Cradlerock’s Black History Month activities and the importance of cultivating respect throughout the year.

My goal for Black History Month is to get students interested in history, and to learn about the contributions of so many African Americans in the past and present to form this nation. Oh yes, there’s excitement knocking on Cradlerock’s door this month!

Here at Cradlerock, we are hosting a school-wide weekly wax museum where teachers and students pose as prominent African-American figures. Some of our 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers are also collaborating to bring about Cradlerock’s first interactive museum to their classrooms. In doing so, more students are able to play an active part in learning about a chosen figure and sharing that information when a button is pushed in the museum.

Our younger students are having “Share-a-Moment” with me and perhaps a few volunteers from the community. This block of time includes short stories bursting with valuable lessons, historical events and a rich history told by African-American authors.

A few of Cradlerock’s 3rd graders are participating in HCPSS’ Unheard Perspectives: Black History Month Expo for the first time this year. The expo enables elementary students to spend extra time uncovering findings on an African-American innovator through the performance-based program.

Finally, this month we are hosting our annual “Taste and See” cultural food fest for those with adventurous taste buds.

The wise saying “It takes a village” holds true on more than just raising children. For a nation to be great, it takes sincere respect for all groups. That process starts in homes and in schools: the first two places children’s minds are shaped.

Like many other citizens, African Americans are doing awesome things every day. That means that while we celebrate during the month of February, black history happens 365 days a year and that makes it American history.

Hatcher’s guest blog is part of HCPSS’ participation in celebrating Black History Month, this February.