Community advocates seek to improve Black History Month education

first_imgSophomore Zaniah Mathews talks with her fellow Black Students United club members on Thursday afternoon at Evergreen High School. The local chapter of Black Lives Matter is leading the charge to improve Black History Month education at area school districts.Cecelia Towner, founder of the local advocacy group, has spent the past few months testifying at school board meetings, asking boards to make more substantial and district-wide efforts to promote Black History Month. Schools and individual teachers are responsible for setting their own curriculum around Black History Month, but Towner said some weren’t recognizing the event at all.She hopes to see students discussing prominent black Americans and leaders, and having discussions about how students will apply lessons into their daily lives.“It’s important for black kids to see themselves in schools where they spend a huge amount of time,” Towner said.Michelle Giovannozzi, president of the Vancouver Public Schools board, said the district has developed monthly online courses for Black History Month, as well as courses recognizing celebrations of Hispanic and Latino people, Native Americans, disabled people and women.“District leaders have communicated clear expectations for schools to recognize these important observances with their choice of learning activities throughout the school year,” Giovannozzi said.School districts also invited Towner to provides lists of significant black leaders to highlight during the month.Victoria Bradford, an Evergreen Public Schools board member, said individual schools have in the past and will continue to have their own celebrations commemorating the month. The board hasn’t taken any action to more formally expand Black History Month curriculum, however.last_img

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