Elementary students celebrated Black History Month with a special Chapel. Fifteen students from grades K4-5 were chosen to research famous African Americans. Some of these famous people included professional basketball player, DeAndre Jordan, Olympic gymnast, Gabby Douglas, singer and songwriter, Kirk Franklin, author and Christian evangelist, Priscilla Shirer, and lawyer and social justice activist, Bryan Stevenson. The students dressed up as ‘their person’ and shared what they learned with their peers and parent visitors during Chapel. From our youngest K4 to our 5th graders, the students did an excellent job teaching their audience about how these famous Black Americans worked hard and persevered through trials to do great things!
Elementary Principal, Mrs. McInerney shared about her experience growing up and her love for TCS:
“During my elementary years back in the 80s, I was the only brown little girl in my elementary school. There were no Asian students, there were no Black students, there were no Spanish students. There were only Caucasian students and me. I felt very alone because I was different. In my history books, I didn’t learn about famous Black Americans. It wasn’t until I was in MS/HS that I started to learn about Harriet Tubman and Martin Luther King, Jr. I had to learn that being different was okay and I had to be happy with the skin that God put me in!
I love that at Timothy Christian School I can look around the room and see so much diversity amongst our students. We have so many cultures represented in this room and we know that God loves all of us. He made us all to be fearfully and wonderfully made. We know that man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks at the HEART!”
In the MS & HS, students are engaged in various class discussions and assignments that take a close look at the history of Black people in America as a whole as well as individuals. Here are a few examples of what is happening in the various grade levels:
In 6th grade, teachers are working together to do a set of cross-curricular lessons about the trailblazing Black women working at NASA in the 1960s! This serves to tie together their study of Black History month and their science unit – Space. They are reading about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson and watching scenes from the 2016 film, Hidden Figures. It’s exciting that NASA has recently named one of its Spacecrafts after brilliant mathematician, Katherine Johnson!
Eighth graders are reading To Kill a Mockingbird and have had classroom discussions about race relations in the 1930s and 60s, as this is the historical context for the novel. Students are reading the novel, some short stories, watching a film discussing this era and writing a cumulative paper dealing with equality, history, and what we can do as a generation to continue to help America grow from the scars of racism.
Mrs. Toussaint has her MS students watching biographies and learning about the lives and art of a few African American artists: Jacob Lawrence, Faith Ringgold and Romare Bearden. They will then be using what they learn about the artists to inspire them to create their own work of art!
In HS English classes, some students are working on a writing assignment based on The Civil Rights Act of 1866 where they are examining causes which led to the need for the Act in the first place. They are answering reflection questions about the culture and events surrounding this moment in history and how those attitudes and ideas still affect us today. Other students are studying and reflecting on the first-hand account of slavery from African British citizens and specifically Ignatius Sancho, whose wit and insight satirized the times he lived in. His letters provide personal insight into life during the Restoration as an African survivor of slavery.
As Mrs. McInerney said, we are truly blessed to have so many cultures here at Timothy Christian School. We are grateful for the opportunity to learn from one another and from history so that we can be part of making a difference in our culture today. We pray that the lessons learned from Black History Month will encourage all students to work hard, persevere during difficult circumstances and love one another as Christ calls us to do!