At Harlem Academy, we embrace and celebrate diversity in all parts of our program, from our curriculum to our community meetings. Recently, in honor of Black History Month, our students pursued a variety of special projects celebrating Black excellence, achievement, legacy, and joy.
Kicking things off was our “Unapologetically Black”-themed door decorating contest. Every grade spent weeks adorning their classroom door with artwork, pictures, and inspiring mantras of pride. In culmination of this project, students took a gallery walk through the halls of Harlem Academy to see each door display.
After learning about the contributions of notable African Americans and reading “Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” our kindergartners showed off their creative skills by designing headbands in celebration of these historical figures.
A Wall of Heroes was displayed in third grade, with students adding the names of people of color who have changed the world, like Ruby Bridges and Nelson Mandela. “From inventors to musicians, the whole class was able to collaborate and bring in names of amazing heroes and innovators to add to this beautiful list,” says Addie Crouso, third grade teacher.
Fourth grade gave inspiring presentations honoring people who made an important mark on history and deserve greater recognition, including Fannie Lou Hamer, Althea Gibson, Bayard Rustin, Daisy Bates, and others.
On display in fifth grade? Students’ group projects exploring the Constitution, voting rights, and civil rights leaders, such as Ella Baker. As a lead-up to that work, students took a deep dive into an essential question: Why do laws continue to evolve?
Our middle schoolers wrapped up the month with a “Black Joy” party. “It was a wonderful celebration of Black culture,” says Gwen Kingsberry, middle school dean.
Whether researching Black changemakers and lawmakers, honoring Black leaders in a variety of fields, or simply reveling in who they are, Harlem Academy students eagerly embrace our many opportunities to celebrate Black excellence.
Harlem Academy is an independent school (grades K-8) that drives equity of opportunity for promising students, guiding them to thrive at the highest academic levels and one day make a mark on the world.