Throughout the month of February, Hartfield classes took the opportunity to honor some of our nation’s most admired historical figures in observance of Black History Month. In keeping with year-long engaging and Christ-centered instruction, teachers incorporated elements that honor America’s well-known and potentially less-known influential figures into weekly instruction.
Lower School classes learned about historical figures and their impact upon our world, such as Rosa Parks’s bravery, George Washington Carver’s scientific and agricultural brilliance, and Garrett Morgan’s traffic light invention. Mrs. King shares, “I wanted to show our students how amazing these men and women were!,” describing the center activities that were introduced with each lesson, students created profiles on different African-American men and women. As they cut paper to create their historical figures, they learned more and more about who these men and women truly were. The class even played games such as red light green light and ate potato chips to remember Garrett Morgan, who invented the stop light, and George Crump, a chef who made the first potato chip! After their projects were complete, the T1 class visited k5 classrooms to tell them all they had learned! It is the hands-on, creative activities that help our students really understand the impact they made on the world!
“I think the bravery and strength of these men and women really stood out to our students! Even at the young age of 4-5, they have been able to see the impact kindness, strength and the love of Christ can have on the world. By teaching our students about these brave individuals, we are teaching them that no matter what, with the strength of God, we can stand up for what is right and show love!”
Upper Elementary students also had class activities! Fifth graders focused on African Americans who are from Mississippi and have represented our state. Some of those individuals included Darrell Henderson (a football player from Batesville, MS), Mississippi John Hurt (a singer from Teoc, MS), Ruby Bridges (an American civil rights activist from Tylertown, MS), A'Lelia Walker (a successful businesswoman from Vicksburg, MS), and many more. This allowed our students to find places in Mississippi they may not have known, while also learning about people that made an impact! Hartfield's third graders focused on one of America’s most known speeches - “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr. They even created dreams of their own and explained why they are important.
Kate, from Mrs. Morgan’s class, shared her dream of ‘wanting all people to know about Jesus’. She went on to explain how she would do this - “I would need to knock on doors, stop cars, tell people walking by, and many other things! I would tell so many people that I might even lose my voice!” Nolan, from Mrs. Allen’s class, shared his dream of ‘having all children live in homes with families that love them and take good care of them”. These dreams were direct reflections of what their hearts desired and it was Martin Luther King Jr’s bravery and voice that encouraged them to have dreams of their own!
Mrs. Chelsea Adam’s sixth-grade English classes explored their own interpretations of Black History Month and its significance in the past couple of weeks. Students took to pen and paper researching black people in society and their accomplishments. Many ‘did you know’ statements were made after discovering some of the incredible things they accomplished! Analyzing their observations about Black History Month, inspired many conversations between students of different backgrounds and perspectives that will hopefully continue past this month.
While these activities mentioned are only a few examples of ways in which students take part in education through a God-centered lens, an overarching priority is that students will grow in understanding and awareness of the ways in which history is impacted by the profound bravery and brilliance of America’s diverse collection of everyday heroes, just like the ones celebrated during Black History Month. It’s essential that the lenses we look through point us to Jesus and the love He has for His children. We remain committed as a school to lead students into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His church while celebrating diversity in our world.”
While February is coming to an end, there are still ways to celebrate Black History Month in our home state. Our own Visit Jackson, the city’s tourism website, has an article posted about ways to celebrate in Jackson, MS. Please visit this link
to learn more about Jackson’s history and "how Black Mississippians have contributed to making the city what it is today".