Celebrating Black History Month

School-age 1

Black Heritage Month is recognized every February here in Canada and around the world. It’s a time to applaud the significant achievements and contributions of Black community in developing this big world a better place. This special devoted time in February provides a focused reflection on the past, present lived experiences of black people. Adding realities of people of African descent in school experiences gives opportunity to eradicate the false narratives, myths and judgments. This effort of true acknowledgement embraces children from all race to confidently feel, think, grow and actualize their potential and purpose in the world.

Rising Oaks organization is committed to promote equity and inclusion. We all believe that honouring the rich cultural diversity within all our centres and communities will help us to endeavour our DEIA goal to dispel harmful biases and will enlighten the understanding of each other.

Paper Traffic Lights based on Garrett Morgan's invention

To help celebrate, the before school age group (JK to Grade 5) participated in searching all about the great black personalities involved in the history book. In a group reading we recite their names and their work out loud. Such as, Muhammad Ali (Greatest professional boxer), Oprah Winfrey (Famous actor and television host), Barack Obama (First African-American president), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Garrett Morgan (invented traffic lights) and many more shining stars.The chance to explore by themselves on the Google search excites the children, they used the microphone option to speak and search as this saves the difficulty of some spelling issues. Riggins and Finley shared conversations of arm wrestling and how to train to get stronger arms and punches. They discuss the push up exercises and challenge other peers to show their physical strengths.After discussing Garrett Morgan we also engaged in crafting of traffic lights. Children in the group were invited to make their own shape traffic lights with the materials such as colorful paper, tape, scissors, and markers. They were asked to write the color names and what they symbolize. This fosters the development of language & literacy and social-emotional skills.

Children putting their fingerprints with paint on a peace symbol

 A peace symbol with fingerprints representing all the different skin colors was painted together in a group activity. Children in the program enjoy tape tracing and pattern makikng activities.  We created a peace symbol by tracing the tape.  Then everyone choose a color from the palate that they believed was a closest match to their own skin color and put their fingerprint on the peace symbol. During this activity we observed children mixing colours to try and match the shades for the required results.

For the next steps, we are planning to add skin colors play dough coloured as different skin tones. in the program. This group happily enjoys any and mostly all kind of sensory plays. In addition, we would also be practising word search puzzles in the class, our SK and Grade 1’s have the new learning interests with those.