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Students mark Black History Month with art, literature and reflection

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Learning, celebrating, and sharing continues in schools throughout the Vancouver School District as students mark Black History Month in creative, engaging and informative ways. 

At AR Lord Elementary, students learned about Black Canadians in history, as well as Black Vancouverites in the Strathcona neighbourhood during the first half of the month. Margie Trovao, principal of Lord Elementary says most classes continue to read and discuss books that feature racially diverse characters. Students in kindergarten followed a reading of a children’s book with an art project. Grade 2 and 3 students listened to I Promise by Lebron James, wrote their own promises, and created a book for the library.

Students at University Hill Secondary took part in a variety of activities throughout the month. Each day, posts that featured an interesting fact, prompt for self-reflection, and suggestion of a television program, film or book appeared on the school website, as well as on a student-accessed channel on Microsoft Teams Classroom. The school’s Diversity Club created a display of students’ thoughts and reflections on quotes from Black cultural leaders and activists. Students’ reflections filled yellow speech bubbles, posted next to the silhouette of a megaphone with “Amplify Black Voices” written on it. Teachers received blank speech bubbles at the start of the month for their students to complete, and the display grew throughout February. The school’s library features an installation called “Black Characters Matter” and highlights Black authors and protagonists. 15 strands of string with paper cards attached are displayed, which showcase the contributions of 150 Black figures in various fields, including the arts, sciences, and politics. 

At Point Grey Secondary, students worked on a poster project, which Ria Lacoumentas, English department head describes as a way to demonstrate the value placed on students’ histories. The project features photos and brief annotations of Black contributors to various fields of study on bulletin boards and classroom doors.  

“Here at Point Grey, we elevate and celebrate contributions of the multiple groups that exist in all Vancouver schools, to create a school culture of recognition and acceptance,” Lacoumentas says. She adds the goal is to achieve a school culture where students are seen and honoured for who they are, what they stand for, and how far they can go in this world. 

Please revisit vsb.bc.ca to read more about how students shared their year-round learnings during Black History Month. 

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