Throughout the month of February, Fayetteville-Manlius School District students are celebrating the achievements of, and learning about, notable Black Americans.
At the district’s elementary and middle schools, a different Black American is highlighted either daily or weekly during the schools’ morning announcements, including poets, abolitionists and political activists. Some schools are sharing quotes from those individuals and then relating them to their character education programs and sharing information with families via Schoology. Some classroom teachers are also leading Black History Month activities and lessons within their classrooms.
F-M High School students typically organize and hold a performing arts assembly highlighting and honoring African American heritage and culture and promoting racial equality. The assembly focuses on a common theme, and this year’s assembly that was held on Feb. 10 was titled “Young, Black, and Gifted: Passing the Torch of Black Excellence.”
In keeping with that theme, high school teachers are weaving examples of the ways in which Black Americans have been foundational within their subject areas. For example, in the math department, teachers are featuring 11 different Black mathematicians throughout the month of February, one per day over 11 days. In addition, senior Catherine Jia put up a bulletin board with a theme combining math with Black History Month.
English department teachers continuously infuse their curriculum with marginalized voices from a variety of cultural backgrounds with the shared goal of celebrating the power of their stories and reflecting voices and identities that are not always prioritized. Black authors, journalists. broadcasters, directors and producers highlighted include Jason Reynolds, Isabel Wilkerson, Toni Morrison, Yaa Gyasi, Jesmyn Ward, Nnedi Okorafor, Ibi Zoboi, Kwami Alexander, Brit Bennet and Amanda Gorman.