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Gwinnett County Public Schools

Gwinnett schools celebrate Black History Month

Black History Month events in GCPS

Gwinnett schools celebrate Black History Month

February 1, 2017

     February is Black History Month and Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) is marking the occasion in schools around the county. School-to-school plans vary but you are sure to see decorated classrooms and hallways, a variety of events and celebrations, and students engaged in Black History Month-related activities that are in line with the school district’s Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) curriculum.

     Below you will find Black History Month activities submitted by schools. The list is organized by school. For more information about an event or activity listed below or at any school, contact the school directly.  

Alcova ES
Event: Black History Month Kick Off - Share our theme song for Black History Month & International Night
When: February 3
About: Staff creates a Music Video for “We Are The World”

Event: Daily Slides on closed circuit TV
When: Daily
About: Non-traditional Notable African Americans representing a plethora of Careers. A new person is featured each day

Event: Black History Museum Interactive/Virtual Museum
When: During month of February
About: Interactive Black History Museum inclusive of iMovie, Slideshows, Music, Interactive technology (Ipads/apps). The slideshows continuously loop to create an experience where students can gain insight and knowledge about Historical Events and Notable African Americans (Past & Present). Students can utilize iPads at the museum to scan photos of people and events, the photos come to life and students can gain additional information. After visiting the Black History Museum - students receive a sticker and are given the opportunity to respond to a blog on eClass about the what was the most inspiring part about visiting the interactive museum.

Event: Historical People Project
When: Once per week
About: Facilitate the morning news from grade level hallways displaying Black History Month Projects. Interview students about a significant fact they learned and describe the name and significance of the research project the conducted.

Event: Orators with Historical Excerpts
When: February 27 (Scheduled excerpts w/ a Parent Reception)
About: Wax Museum with male and female figures

Event: Student Inventions Contest
When: Tuesday, February 28,
About: Students encouraged to create an invention, giving it a title and stating its purpose. Broadcast /Highlight a different African American invention/inventor during the morning announcements. Administrators will vote on the best student invention with the winner announced on Tuesday, February 28.

Arcado ES
Event: Martin Luther King, Jr. play
When: Wednesday, February 1, at 1 p.m. 
Where: Arcado Media Center, 
About: 2nd grade students will perform a play about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Bethesda ES
Event: Black History Quiz Bowl and Black History Show
When: Thursday, February 16, at 6 p.m.
Where: Bethesda Cafeteria
About: A representative from each 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade class will compete to find out who knows the most about African Americans in History. The grade prize is a $25 gift certificate to the school book fair. 

Event: “Lift Every Voice and SING: A Tribute to Showtime at the Apollo” 
When: Friday, February 24, at 6 p.m.
Where: Bethesda Gymnasium
About: 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students will perform songs by Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and other artists who performed at the world-famous Apollo Theater in Harlem. Kindergarten classes will open the program by singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Cedar Hill ES
Event: Month-long Celebration of Black History 
About: “Exploring the Impact of African American Contributions on Everyday Life”:

  • Classroom teachers will highlight one or more famous or historical African American figure(s) by creating a bulletin board outside their classrooms.
  • Students, representing each classroom and grade level, will appear daily on the morning news sharing biographical information about their class’ chosen historical figure.
  • A schoolwide museum/gallery will be established with African-American athletes, authors, civil rights leaders, entertainers, inventors, scientists, politicians, musicians, lawyers, and other government leaders displayed and their accomplishments summarized throughout the school building.

Corley ES
Event: Guest Speaker: Harold Melton, Georgia Supreme Court Justice  
When: Tuesday, February 14 at 2 p.m.
About: Justice Melton will speak to 5th grade students about the Georgia Supreme Court, Black History Month, and the significance of his appointment from this perspective.

Event: Guest Speaker: Vicki Crawford, the Executive Director of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection
When: Tuesday, February 28, at 2 p.m.
About: Crawford will visit Corley Elementary School to talk to 4th grade students about the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection and its historic importance. The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection encompasses approximately 10,000 items from 1944 to 1968 including hundreds of handwritten notes, famous and lesser known speeches, manuscripts, sermons, and other writings of unparalleled historical significance. 


Dacula ES
Event: Black History Month Morning Announcements
When: Daily
About: The morning announcements will feature a news segment with information about African Americans who had a positive impact on society.

Event: Black History Month Trivia Contest
When: February 13-17
About: Principal Holly Warren will ask trivia questions during morning announcements. Weekly winners will be announced during Friday Live announcements.

Jackson ES
Event: Black History Month celebration
When: Every day
About: Museum display of Underground Railroad quilts in the foyer. Classes were able to visit and learn about the significance of quilt art in the Underground Railroad.

About:  Students created slide shows on famous African Americans (historical and current figures). The research was either self-directed or in concert with the media specialist and/or classroom teachers. The slide shows run all month in the hallways, cafeteria, and classrooms.  


Lawrenceville ES
Event: Black History Month video celebration
About: The school will play a video of students representing historical figures, traditional foods, hair stylists, hair braiding and barber presentations, and Double Dutch, among many other things. 

Lovin ES
Event: Wall Displays/Community Scavenger Hunt 
About: Each classroom will create wall displays outside their classroom to showcase student research about African Americans in History. Teachers will create two questions from their wall display which will be used for a community scavenger hunt. Parents and visitors are invited to participate in the scavenger hunt during parent-teacher conference week.  

Mason ES
Event(s): Ongoing Black History Month display & Daily “Guess Who Quiz”
When: Daily
About: Black History Month display in the school’s media center. Fifth grade students researched historic African American figures and the information they obtained will be used for the daily “Guess Who Quiz”.

Nesbit ES
Event: African American studies
When: February 13-17
About: Students in each grade level will study famous African Americans

Event: Soul Food Festival
When: February 17, from 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: Parent Center

Event: Nesbit’s Oratory Contest
When: February 24, at 9 a.m.
About: 4th & 5th Grade students will recite poems or monologues that celebrate African American heritage/history

Event: Black History Month Program
When: February 28, 1– 2:30 p.m.
About: Students from each grade level will participate in black history skits, plays, and dances to share the information that they learned about famous African Americans. Oratory contest participants will also perform

Norton ES
Event: Month-long Celebration of Black History
About: Elementary students will celebrate Black History Month by creating art that honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Kindergarten and 1st grade students will listen to the children’s book, “The Crayon Box That Talked.” This lesson teaches that when we all work together the results are more interesting and colorful. The students will create a self-portrait of themselves as a crayon.
  • 2nd graders will create a colorful and thought-provoking piece of artwork using significant phrases from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and their handprints in different skin-tone colors.
  • 3rd graders will think about the freedoms they enjoy and remember the work of civil rights leaders such as Dr. King and the work they did to help secure those freedoms. Their artwork incorporates text, multicultural colors, and the symmetry of folded hands.
  • 4th and 5th graders will incorporate a silhouette of Dr. King and copies of the “I Have a Dream” speech in their artwork, thus providing them with an excellent opportunity to read the speech and see its most famous phrases in their original context.

Patrick ES
Event(s): Black History Month trivia contest & Black History Month projects 
When: Daily
About: On Monday of each week, a question focusing on an individual or event that highlights contributions made and milestones reached throughout history will be posed to students on the morning announcements. All students in grades K-5 will be given the opportunity to utilize their research skills, and conduct conversations with peers and parents as they seek to find the answers to each question. Participants will be recognized and rewarded for their efforts. Teachers also will be provided with a list of Black History projects that they can implement in the classroom to further celebrate the historical and current accomplishments of African Americans.

Rosebud ES
Event: Black History Month program 
When: February 27
About: The program will include a student performance of the play “Now I can Fly.” There also will be a living museum throughout the school featuring our students displaying their knowledge of African Americans throughout history. The theme of the night is "Believe". On the walls there will be an art museum featuring our students. The chorus will perform in conjunction with the play.

Starling ES
Event: Black History Month class research
About: Each classroom has been given a notable person to research and report on. Each class will create a poster of information and pictures along with an Aurasma which adds a technology component to each display.

Event: School Integration 
When: February 3
About: In-depth look and discussion of the desegregation of schools and the Brown vs Board of Education Supreme Court case. 

Event: Valentine Candy Gram and Unity Bracelet Sale 
When: February 6 – 13

Event: Black History Month program 
When: February 9, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
About: “Live Your Dream”

  • At 6 p.m. guests will enter the cafe' and enjoy a taste of Africa. 
  • The opening program will showcase several student groups: Step Team, Poetry, and Creative Choir
  • Following the performance, visitors will be encouraged to explore the interactive sessions located throughout the school: Travel through the Underground Railroad with B-Botics, Aurasma Room (view video clips using devices), Artist Room -make and take, Soul Train room (music), Bingo/Trivia room, and Wax Museum room (students).

Event: Black History Night Highlights
When: February 28
About: Black History Night Highlights video will be shown school wide. 

Grace Snell MS
Event: Black History Program 
When: February 24, Start time is 6:30 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m.
Where: Gymnasium 
About: The program will include 10 segments that highlight the most significant moments in African- American history. Students, teachers as well as invited guests will act, sing, dance and perform poetry readings.
Event: Black History Writing/Poetry Contest - Hidden Figures: A Story of 

When: Month-long
About: The contest is open to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. Contestants must write a persuasive essay, 250-400 words in length, that argues why and how their chosen African-American hero was significant to American History or they can write a poem, a minimum of 21 lines, which explains why and how their selected African-American hero was significant to American History.
Event: Morning announcements that highlight the accomplishments of African-Americans throughout history
When: Daily

Event: Wax Museum Showcase
When: February 28
Where: Gymnasium 
About: Students will dress up and provide information to participating classes. 

Jordan MS:
Event: Black History Month Collaborative Project
When: Month-long
About: In collaboration with the schools media center, art class, language arts, and social studies, students will write and produce documentaries about the Civil War. Many students will focus on the experiences of slaves. Eighth grade art students will create life-sized human figure sculptures of Civil War Soldiers for the school’s mixed media/sculpture unit. Viewers will be able to scan QR codes on the statues to experience the documentaries.

Event: Fine Arts & Literacy Night
When: March 7
About: The Black History Month Collaborative Project will be on display during the Fine Arts & Literacy Night.


Moore MS
Event: Black History Month Morning Announcements 
About: The morning announcements will feature information about African Americans, both local and national, who had a positive impact on society.

Event: Black History Month Quiz
About: Students will have an opportunity to play Kahoot and take a quiz featuring historic events and figures related to African Americans. 

Event: Book Display
Where: Media Center
About: Books written or featuring African Americans and or themes will be featured in the Media Center

Northbrook MS
Event: Black History Month College Week
About: Staff wear higher education T-shirts w/ jeans

Event: Black History Month Schoolwide Poster Contest
About: Homeroom poster contest. Completed poster will be displayed outside of cafeteria, for voting. Winning classroom gets ice cream social.

Event: Black History Month Trivia Contest
When: Monday & Wednesday
About: Trivia questions will be announced during morning announcements. Weekly winners will be announced during Friday Live announcements. King-size candy bars will be delivered to each grade level winner.

Event: Essay Contest
About: Students choose a topic and write an essay using specific details, examples and historical facts/context with a maximum of 500 words. 

  • Topic #1: What would life be like without the positive impact and contributions of African Americans? 
  • Topic #2:  Explain the following quote and its significance and relevance then and now-- “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere?” -Martin Luther King Jr.

One winner chosen per grade level will receive a Dave and Busters gift card

Event: Black History Broadcast
When: Weekly  
About: Daily 3-4 minute broadcast commemorating African-Americans in:

  • Arts and Entertainment 
  • Political/Social accomplishment
  • Medicine and Business, 
  • Athletic/Pioneer/Inventor achievements

Richards MS
Event: Great African Americans
When: Wednesday, February 1 – Tuesday, February 28 
About: Throughout the month of February, Great African Americans will be read by media students during the morning announcements reflecting achievements by African Americans. 

Event: African American Heritage Dress Day
When: Feb. 3, 10, 17, and 24  
About: Students and staff are invited to dress up in one of the following ways: 

  • In African attire
  • As a favorite African American from the past and/or the present
  • Donning paraphernalia from a HBCU (Historically Black College of University), sorority or fraternity colors
  • Wear the colors red, black, green, and yellow

Event: Black History Month Door Decorating Contest 
When: Tuesday, February 7 – Friday, February 17 (Door Judging on Wed. Feb. 22)
About: Grade levels are encouraged to decorate their walls/hallways/bulletin boards to represent a theme from the categories below:

  • African Americans of importance (based upon current curriculum) who have made a difference
  • African Americans Thinkers & Educators

Event: Southern Inspired Faculty Sweets Day–“Cooking from the Heart” 
When: Monday, February 20: (Teacher Planning Day)
About: Students, parents, staff are invited to bring in their favorite homemade or store-bought southern dessert to share. Pound Cakes, Banana Pudding, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Tea Cookies, Peach Cobbler, Apple, or Sweet Potato Pie, etc…

Event: Black History Month Door Decorating Contest 
When: Wednesday, February 22 
About: The classroom with the best-decorated walls/hallway for their grade level category will receive Black History Month prizes.

Event: Who am I?–Presented by the Media
When: Wednesdays Feb: 1, 8, 15, 22  
About: Each Wednesday, staff and students will answer questions related to African American events. Students will place their answers in a box for a chance to win a Black History Prize. 

Event: Black History Month Round-up 
When: Wednesday, March 1 
About: A summary of the Black History Month events and history.

Archer HS
Event: HBCU (Historically Black College or University) College Fair & Step Show
When: Saturday, February 25, 2017 from 12 p.m.-4 p.m.
About: This college fair is open to all high school students and will expose them to HBCU’s diversity, affordability, and academically competitive programs, as well as allow HBCUs an opportunity to familiarize students with their college’s/university’s benefits and offerings. HBCU college/university recruiters & alumni can reserve their space on a first come, first serve basis. Refreshments will be provided to the HBCU attendees. The college fair will be a self-guided tour for students, parents, and other attendees, giving students an opportunity to apply, review and receive literature/information. Sororities and fraternities will be present to discuss their organizations and allow students to become familiar with them as well. The “Step Show” by local fraternities and sororities will start immediately after the College Fair at 2 p.m. Students can R.S.V.P by clicking on the link:


Brookwood HS
1.    Brookwood Broadcasting
a)    MLK's words will be performed by 24 faculty and staff interspersed with the archival footage of the time. Brookwood Broadcasting's AVTF II-III students are using the technology received from last year's grant to the school to produce this year's offering.   
b)    Daily shout outs in the announcements about Black History Month
c)    5-6 small vignettes about Black History Month
d)    Please take 12 minutes of your guided study tomorrow to watch this video.

2.    US History Teachers
a)    Studying the Harlem Renaissance and its impact on US History
b)    Discussing a historical essay about Jim Crow and the Great Migration.

3.    Media Center
a)    African American Read-In - planning with Stephen Rockwell (LA teacher)
b)    Posting Black History month posters
c)    Famous black American authors display

4.    Lisa Sperling/social networks manager
a)    Share the Brookwood Broadcasting’s production of the faculty reading MLK’s Dream speech
(On Facebook, Twitter, and the school newsletter)
b)    Sharing with parents many of the other things that teachers and students are doing

5.    Brookwood Chorus
Chose “No Need To Knock” (African American Spiritual arrangement) and they are using it for their LGPE (Large Group Performance Evaluation @ GMEA) adjudication.

6.    Brookwood Drama
a)    Studying August Wilson (playwright): 9 students participated in an August Wilson monologue competition last week. We will find out in February if any of them moved on to the next round. If they DO advance, Kenny Leon (Broadway director) will be coming down to Georgia to work with them personally. If they advance to nationals they will have a chance to perform with Phylicia Rashad, among others. We have had students advance every year, so we are hopeful they will do so again this year.
b)    My students write quotes daily from famous actors and teachers of theatre and then we discuss them. This month, all my quotes will come from influential African American actors/teachers.

7.    Brookwood Jazz
Jazz is one of America's few indigenous art forms.  It comes out of the African American tradition. Slave songs, ragtime, the blues, West African Musical Traditions, and European Band Music combined in New Orleans in the early 1900s to give birth to a uniquely American experience. It is music that celebrates freedom, collaboration, and inclusion. The thing is...we aren't just studying music. Improvisation is a language, and therefore, we are studying origins of popular African American culture, dialect, history, speech inflection, perspectives, and the merging of said elements with other "non-Black" aspects of American culture. This allows for the student to speak somewhat authentically and not just "play a tune."  You can study any/all jazz artists because it all comes out of the African American Tradition. We play tunes by non-Black artists with the same performance practices we would ascribe to the African American tunes. It's all Jazz in the end, just different "accents" within the same dialect.

African American Artists and their music that we are featuring:
a)    Duke Ellington: C Jam Blues, In a Mellow Tone,
b)    Eddie Harris: Cold Duck Time, Freedom Jazz Dance
c)    Sonny Rollins: Tenor Madness, SonnyMoon for Two
d)    Miles Davis: So What, All Blues, Freddie Freeloader
e)    Ben Tucker: Comin' Home Baby
f)     Herbie Hancock: Watermelon Man
g)    The Meters: Cissy Strut
h)    Thelonious Monk: Blue Monk
i)    John Coltrane: Impressions, Mr. PC; Billy Strayhorn: Take The A Train

8.     Community School
a)    Advertising February as Black History Month on front marquee

9.     School Store
a)    Doing a window display on Black History month
b)    Posting BHM posters

10.     Orchestra
a)    We are performing a piece by an African American composer named William Grant Still.  We will perform this piece at Large Group Performance Evaluation on Friday, February 17th.

11.     Big Board
a)    Slide show of images, interesting facts, some quotes, etc. of famous black Americans running all day
b)    Trivia questions (possibility)

12.    Art Department
Students are going to study art work by black sculptors and then write an essay on the art

13.    International Club
a)    Showing a video on MLK, Jr and his impact on our country

14.     Academic Intervention
a)    Begin Academic Intervention with a significant encouraging quote from famous black American

15.     Rho Kappa
a)    Rho Kappa Students would have two tables set up in front of the trophy case.  They would have an enormous sign (white butcher paper) that is graphed to spell "LOVE." The students would be asked to write on a sticky note (pink) "What I love about diversity?" and the pink sticky notes that would be placed on the graph paper will spell "Love."  Rho Kappa students would be on hand to hand out candy and monitor the sticky notes.  The week of the extended lunches (Feb. 21st and 23rd), the students would put up large picture/posters of famous African Americans on the trophy cases.  MLK, Nelson Mandela, Obama, Scientist from "Hidden Figures." Each would have a quote.  Rho Kappa students would walk around on the extended lunches and ask the students to record their positive message of how we come together as a united Brookwood and take candid pictures of diversity at BHS.The last week of extended lunches they would put together the voices of the student comments with the pictures of diversity on a short video. The video would have the written words spoken so it could be played on the "Board" during the lunches under the title "Unity."

16.    Social Studies Department
a)    Harlem Renaissance Project during 20s unit                                                                    
b)    Describing the modern forms of cultural expression including Louis Armstrong and the Harlem Renaissance   
c)    Looking at the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade and African slavery                 
d)    Doing a lesson on the Great Society                                                                        
e)    Students will be creating a slide to acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans in history.  Slideshows will be available for viewing on Google docs.    
f)    Sociology I will likely conduct a form of discussion on the topic itself. What is the relevance of Black History Month?                                       
g)    Discuss the important figures in black history that are highlighted throughout the school.
Put extra credit questions on quizzes & tests regarding those figures.                        
h)    From Rag Time by Scott Joplin as a sponge activity to reading Jim Crow and playing Buffalo Soldiers
 by Bob Marley, etc.                             
i)    Students will read and discuss the Jim Crow era and the Great Migration, prepare presentations on the
Harlem Renaissance, discuss the role of Mary McLeod Bethune and New Deal Programs, discuss the
contributions of African-Americans during WWII/Double V movement during WWII
j)    Transatlantic Slave Trade...                                                                            
k)    In 11th grade US history we are studying the 1920s and 1930s. Students will choose an African-American
from this era and research their contributions to American culture and society.  Presentations will be done in class.                                         
l)    Political Systems.  I will discuss the contributions of African Americans to our government over the history
 of the US. I will include African Americans from the different time periods we discuss. Some of the African
American leaders we will discuss will include, but will not be limited to, Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington,
Thurgood Marshall, Colin Powell, Condeleeza Rice, Shirley Chisholm, John Lewis, Clarence Thomas, Barack Obama, Dr. Ben Carson, Herman Cain, Maynard Jackson, Dr. Martin Luther King, and numerous others.
m)    Students are creating a "Guess Who!" slide show of African Americans to share on Google Docs.  We also plan to create a Kahoot game that will be accessible to play.                            

Central Gwinnett HS
Event: Black History Month Morning Announcements
When: Daily
About: Each morning during the morning announcements, students and or teachers will share a motivating quote from an African American who has helped to change the nation and the world in the areas of the school’s STEM, MEDICAL, LAW, BUSINESS and FINE ARTS Academies.

Event: “UKnighted” African American Heritage Dress Week
When: February 13-17
About: Students are encouraged to show they are “UKnighted” by dressing in AfroCentric attire, as their favorite historic African American, or by wearing T-shirts from a HBCU (Historically Black College or University) during the week.

Event: "Extravaganza of Excellence," an Evening of History and Pride
When: February 23, at 6 p.m.
About: Students, parents and staff from Central Gwinnett High School and its feeder schools are invited to a variety show program featuring singing, acting, dancing, and spoken word, among other things.


Discovery HS
Event: Living Museum tour
When: Saturday, February 18, at 6:30 p.m.
About: Our theme this year is “Rise Up.” Students have created monologues about individuals that have made contributions to American History and will immerse the audience in those experiences. Students from schools in the Discover Cluster will participate alongside Discovery High School students. Audience members will split into groups and will have their own tour guide through the museum. 

GIVE Center East
Event: Black History Month Talent Show
When: Tuesday, February 28, and Wednesday, March 1, at 12:10 p.m.
About: The show will involve singing, dancing, skits, poetry presentations and dramatizations, as well as speeches made by and portrayals of famous African Americans.

Oakland Meadow
Event: Black History Month Video Conversation  
When: Tuesday, February 21, at 11 a.m.
About: Students will use SKYPE to have a conversation with A’Lelia Bundles, a journalist who is the great-great granddaughter of Madame C.J. Walker, (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919). Walker was an African American entrepreneur, philanthropist and a political and social activist. She was reportedly one of the wealthiest African American women in the country and one of the most successful African-American business owners in history. Walker made her fortune by developing and marketing a line of beauty and hair products for black women through the Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. 



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