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Honoring Black History Month Through The Written Word

Throughout the month of February, the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns celebrated Black History Month with a wide variety of lessons and discussions.

At Sleepy Hollow High School, Principal Dr. Tracy Smith partnered with the African American Club to host a virtual town hall meeting. SHHS students led the event and spoke about the significance of Black History Month, including current issues which reinforce the month’s importance. The town hall ended with an online trivia game called Kahoot, an online resource that many of the teachers use in their classrooms, with all questions about black history, culture and community.

Additionally, Sleepy Hollow Middle and High School students have had the opportunity to enjoy a variety of books during Black History Month with the assistance of library media specialist Joan Mullin. In addition to helping students make selections, Mrs.Mullin has organized multiple displays inside the library. 

Mrs. Mullin has highlighted books written by black authors which express the rich culture and contributions of black Americans, including new selections such as “Concrete Rose”, a prequel to “The Hate You Give” and “Woke,” a collection of poetry. 

“We are fortunate that the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns represent the diversity of our community and it is vital that all of our students have access to literature which represents the world we live in,” said Mullin. “The literature in the library acts as both a mirror and a window.  It reflects our population and provides an opportunity to learn more about cultural experiences which are new and different.”

In Mr. Ramos’s fourth grade Washington Irving class, students created a music video through the research and creations of poems, illustrations, and memes. Throughout February, students worked in groups to learn more about Black history by studying music, authors, literature, civil rights, current events, athletes, and inventors. Mr. Ramos says that through their study, “the students gained a fresh perspective on culture and engaged in healthy conversations.” The video, which can be viewed on our website, begins with the simple but meaningful call to action from a student, “Roses are red, violets are blue. We can stop racism together, me and you.”

Washington Irving teachers also used Readworks’ Article a Day theme, “Important African American Figures.” Students selected five articles to read and add to their “Book of Knowledge” by noting interesting facts and ideas learned throughout the readings.

At Morse, students are reading books with black male protagonists so that they can experience stories with people of color and imagine being like them while at JP students have been reading books about Black scientists and their contribution to medicine and having discussions about Black historical figures.

 Please follow this link to view the WI video.