Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) campuses joined the nation this February by celebrating Black History Month.
Black History Month encourages individuals to reflect on and recognize the influence that Black Americans have had in shaping United States history. While Black History Month was officially recognized by the government under President Gerald Ford in 1976, the origins of this month-long celebration date back to the early 20th century.
Since then, Americans have been highlighting the accomplishments of famous Black Americans as well as recognizing the influence of Black culture on the United States’ diverse population.
Throughout the month, students were given the opportunity to learn about the important events and achievements associated with Black history. The district shared age-appropriate lessons and resources with school sites to help facilitate teaching and learning. Inside and outside of the classroom, school sites led activities that included reading and discussing texts on historical figures, commemorating noteworthy leaders and events through activities, and much more.
For example, El Dorado, Esperanza, Valencia, and Yorba Linda high schools featured Black History Month messages on posters around campus and in video/morning announcements. Many school sites featured Black History Month messages on their marquees, in classroom and library displays, and through weekly newsletters to staff and families. Teachers at all grade levels led unique lessons, storytimes and novel discussions, and projects that highlighted historical and influential figures and important events within Black History. Some sites even took to social media to promote the happenings of the month.
At Fairmont, some students read a book about Jackie Robinson and Mae Jemison. Since Mae was the first female African American astronaut in space, students participated in an art lesson to make rocket ships with information about her (pictured to the left).
Sixth graders at Morse completed a research paper about individuals who made a difference during the Civil Rights Movement. At Van Buren, 6th graders were led through a novel study of Roll of Thunder.
One day on campus, Yorba Linda High gave out ice cream from a local Black-owned business during lunch.
These are just a few examples of the many ways school sites promoted Black History Month throughout the month of February. Earlier in the school year, sites also took the time to acknowledge and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Filipino American Heritage Month, Native American Indian and Alaskan Native Heritage Month, and International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
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