With February being Black History Month, Johnston Charter Academy is engaging students artistically to celebrate the achievements by African Americans and recognize their central role throughout U.S. history.
Fifth-grade students worked together to build a Black History Wall, which features three pieces: a historical figures quilt, students’ "I Have A Dream" piece, and a mural of influential black leaders.
“As a Johnston Charter Academy Bobcat, we take Moral Focus seriously,” said Antonique Spence, fifth-grade teacher at Johnston Charter Academy. “We strive to show perseverance each and every day, and having our students see those words of wisdom in the hallway on the way to lunch or switching from class to class gives them inspiration to become a leader in our community.”
The quilt features detailed information about various African American inventors and activists who helped to pave the way for students, teachers, staff, and admin today. Students decorated, cut out, and taped the quilt together.
Next to the quilt is the "I Have A Dream" piece, which is in dedication to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in reference to his famous speech. As a grade level, students listened to his speech and became inspired to annotate their own dreams and relish in how those dreams can and will change the world one day.
Lastly, the triangle mural of influential black leaders features individuals that Johnston students are most inspired by, and with the help of the fifth-grade teacher team, they collaboratively chose a driving quote for each figure. Some of those quotes included:
“We cannot play ostrich. Democracy just cannot flourish amid fear… America must get to work.” Thurgood Marshall.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.” Harriet Tubman.
“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” Maya Angelou.
“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would also be free.” Rosa Parks.
“Showcasing this wall is important for our scholars because these leaders have done so much for us,” shared Spence. “In many ways, we would not be where we are today without these individuals paving the way for us and inspiring us to do more.”
After students worked hard on their speeches and quilt, six student leaders stayed after school to help build the wall. They enjoyed staying after school late with their teachers, and watching their wall come to life with inspiration and love!