Since 1970, Black History Month has been an opportunity for Americans to celebrate the transformative work of Black artists, activists, innovators, and communities whose ideas have shaped the culture and progress of America.
As a Parent Teacher Group, you are always trying to better your student’s understanding of the world around them by opening their eyes to the beauty of diversity, providing strong role models, and supplying them with representation. Your Parent Teacher Group has the power to help the student body start celebrating Black History Month in a fun and educational matter.
Adding Diversity to Your Bookshelves
There are many books that share defining moments in history in an easy to understand story. Or maybe just a fun story from a different perspective. It’s possible your school’s library lacks a healthy inventory of books by African American authors, and as a Parent Teacher Organization, you can change that. Your group can bring in informative books such as biographies, non-fiction inspiration, books that could start a discussion, or simply a fun book with diverse characters. Part of celebrating Black History Month is celebrating diversity and culture.
Something often forgotten when schools attempt to diversify their bookshelves is to add books students will choose to read on their own; not because they teach a certain lesson, but because the stories are fun and enticing. No doubt historical figures and ethics are important, but more importantly, it is to make diversity feel natural to students.
For younger readers, you can look into authors such as Derrick Barnes, Carolivia Herron, and Vashti Harrison. If you’re the Parent Teacher Group of a high school or middle school, you can look into authors such as Sharon Draper, Colson Whitehead brings, and even Barack and Michelle Obama.
Visiting Landmarks and Museums Celebrating Black History
Some cities are fortunate enough to have captivating landmarks and museums readily available to schools and students. Your Parent Teacher Group can take this opportunity to take students on thought-provoking field trips. If your city doesn’t have these, with a little research you may find out that your city holds plenty of African American history in its roots.
Creating African American Centered Lessons and Projects
Students may enjoy a regular history lesson, but the lesson may resonate much more if it fascinates them. Scientists, inventors, artists, and musicians are fun and exciting to learn about and their discoveries and contributions are easy to point out in students’ everyday lives.
You can dive into people that made history that aren’t as well known. Of course, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and many more are important and defining people in history. However, these key figures don’t have to overshadow other notable history-makers such as Katherine G. Johnson, Ella Baker, Percy Julian, and many more.
Your Parent Teacher Group can take some time to work with teachers to create African American rich lesson plans for February. However, you don’t have to stop there. Although February is officially Black History Month, Black history is U.S. history and can be incorporated into lessons throughout the year.
Your school can take inspiration from the many people that worked to change the world by thinking outside the box to celebrate black history.
AIM is here to help your organization succeed. Check out our other blogs for fundraising inspiration, tips, PTA, PTO, or Booster Club guidance, and more!