Milwaukee Scholars was enthusiastic to introduce an interactive Black History Month initiative, “Influential Black Person of the Day.” For this program, scholars were given criteria and shown examples by staff before being given work time in class to select and research their influential Black individual. The assignment, in addition to aligning with Black History Month, also tied into the school’s Moral Focus virtue of the month, Courage, which encourages students to “do what you believe is right, despite fear.”
“Scholars were asked to select an influential individual and create a presentation about that individual to be shared school-wide,” explained Blaire Beyer, dean at Milwaukee Scholars. The students were instructed to create their video with a choice of platforms, ultimately producing a one- to three-minute-long video presentation.
“Teachers submitted the presentations that scholars created, and we shared one every day in each classroom’s Morning Meeting as well as on our Facebook page,” Beyer said. “We have so many submissions we are continuing to share the videos for as long as we have them!”
Students from all grade levels across the school rose to the challenge, creating videos to share with their classes and the school community. First-grader, Kai M. chose to do his video report on Jackie Robinson. After sharing a brief overview of Robinson’s background, he then shared a glimpse at what the famous baseball player experienced on the field. “He knew he had to be strong,” Kai said in his submission, concluding with “he changed baseball forever.”
Seventh-grade student Kasjyen R. submitted his virtual presentation about George Washington-Carver, outlining his key inventions and the impact he had on society. “George Washington Carver inspired me because he cared about the world and not just himself,” Kasiyen said.
The initiative was created after the staff was inspired by the school’s mission and vision, which ensures students “have the opportunity to explore their own beliefs and values, to take risks, and to think and speak for themselves.” The description for the assignment read: We have ensured that our planning, education, and experiences for Black History Month and beyond are centered around opportunities for our scholars to educate themselves and create an impact within their community.
“Milwaukee Scholars has done an incredible job celebrating Black History Month,” said Mollie Edwards, Admissions Representative at Milwaukee Scholars.
Black History Month is celebrated across the United States every February to recognize and reflect on the significant roles that African Americans have played in shaping history.
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Milwaukee Scholars is a tuition-free, public charter school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, serving students in kindergarten-four through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes over 95 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit nhaschools.com.
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