Throughout Ann Arbor Public Schools, principals, teachers, and students are celebrating African American History month. Please check with your school to find out specific events planned, but here are a few highlights representative of what students at different levels are participating in to learn more about the lasting positive impacts African-Americans have made on society.
Mitchell Elementary has launched a new Social Justice Unit that will use text, music, and visual arts to help students think about the African American Civil Rights Movement and Social Justice. Students will discuss and reflect on equality, fairness, civil rights leaders, the concept of community, and taking action to make the world a more peaceful place. Students will participate in a school-wide assembly on February 13 highlighting the connection between the social justice movement and music.
Middle school students will attend screenings of the film, Hidden Figures. The movie is based on the real life stories of three African-American women, known as “human computers,” who were crucial in calculating the launch and safe return of astronaut John Glenn. Mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson broke down gender, race, and professional barriers to serve NASA.
Skyline High School students enrolled in the African American Humanities class will write, perform, and direct the school’s seventh annual Black History Month Assembly on February 22. The “Sounds of Change” assembly is based on the University of Michigan’s MLK Symposium. The show will educate how change can include a wide range of experiences. The sounds of change can be through individuals who have fought for action, through groups fighting for social justice, and through the arts, dance, and music.
On February 13, 2017, schools across AAPS will also be participating in National African American Parent Involvement Day and NAAPID at Night takes place that evening at Washtenaw Community College.