February is Black History Month and lots of schools in Milwaukee are taking time to honor African American contributions to this country. Here is how a few local schools are recognizing the special month, and add your school’s celebration via the Talkback feature.
Brown Street Academy
2029 N. 20th St.
Brown will feature a variety of performances and a special celebration with parents. The principal, Ava Morris, kicked off the month with a welcome address, and each grade will offer a performance of some kind. Kindergartners sang "Happy Birthday" to Martin Luther King; first graders will sing "Free At Last," third graders will read poems by Langston Hughes; the Brown Street drummers and the Brown Street choir will perform and more. There will also be a video presentation.
Fernwood Montessori School
3239 S. Pennsylvania Ave.
Black history is incorporated into the school’s curricula this month, with some classrooms writing essays about civil rights leaders. According to the school principal, "We like to highlight the roles African Americans played in history."
Lowell Elementary School
4360 S. 20th St.
Lowell is having a multi-cultural dance event on February 3 that honors African American dancing along with traditional Chinese, German and irish movements as well. Lowell principal, Susan Stoner, says, "We try to bring in as many ethnic background as we can but also focus on African American contributions."
Maryland Avenue Montessori School
2418 N. Maryland Ave.
This year, Maryland Avenue's celebration is on the evening of Feb. 24. The students and staff work in class, and in coordination with parents and community members, put together projects and performances to display and present at the celebration. The students create individual and group research projects focusing on different aspects of African and African American Culture and History.
Also, the school partner with Walker’s Point Center for the Arts to develop an African drumming and dance performance that a number of elementary and adolescent students practice over a five week period and perform at the celebration.
"We use this time of year to focus on the integration of Black History awareness into our curriculum while connecting the Maryland Avenue Montessori and Greater Milwaukee Communities in celebration of the beautifully rich African and African American culture," says Joe DiCarlo, curriculum generalist for the school.
Townsend Street School
3360 N. Sherman Blvd.
On Feb. 17, Townsend Street School with present an all-school program featuring musical numbers from "The Whiz," "A raisin In The Sun," "Dream Girls," "The Lion King" and "The Lion King 2." Principal Patrick Chatman calls this special program "edu-tainment."
"It’s both educational and entertaining at the same time," he says.
In the mean time, teachers will be reading these plays with students in their classrooms as well as identifying other African American contributions to this country.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.