Equity and Access

Elementary EDITION Febuary 2018

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African Americans in Times of War

Beginning February 1 an entire month of National recognition is given to honoring the history and contributions of African Americans.

The theme for Black History Month 2018 is “African Americans in Times of War” honoring the bold women and men who served their country especially those that paid the ultimate sacrifice as they defended the American ideals of freedom and democracy. During World War II more than 2.5 million Black men registered for the draft and one million served or volunteered in the various branches of the military.

In the segregated 92nd Division 12,000 Black men received citations or were decorated for “extraordinary heroism” in battle. The Tuskegee Airmen were legendary for their heroic feats and in total received Distinguished Unit Citation, several silver stars, 150 distinguished flying crosses, fourteen bronze stars, and 744 air medals.

After the war the brave efforts of these men help to lay the foundation for the Civil Rights Movement.

Time line for African Americans in the U.S.Army

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Did You Know?

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What's In Your Tool Box?

Mining the Jewel of Black History Month by Emily Chiariello

Planning Black History Month using the faithful few like Harriet Tubman, Dr. King or Jackie Robinson gives a limited view of the great contribution of African American’s in the United States. Black History is our history and its incorporation into our curriculum throughout the year is vital. Teaching Tolerance’s article on Mining the Jewels of Black History suggest ways to involve the entire school community in teaching this rich history without falling into the pitfalls of the “heroes and holidays.”

  • Assemble a Black History Month committee of students and staff (all staff, not just teachers).
  • Move Black History Month out of the social studies classroom and into the school community: which will empower students and let their vision guide.
  • Incorporate local Black History into your curriculum.
  • Students can organize performance teams to reenact their chosen moment in Black History during an assembly, the school choir could sing the Black National Anthem and everyone will learn something new.
  • Share the names of some Influential African American Leaders for your class to research:

Maggie Lena Walker

John Henrik Clarke

Frankie Muse Freeman

Medgar Evers

Shirley Chisholm

Percy Julian

Joan Higginbotham

Carter G. Woodson

Mary McLeod Bethume

Martin Delany

Frances Cress Welsing

Bass Reeves

Ida B. Wells

Crispus Attucks

Mining the Jewel of Black History Month

Influential African American Leaders


In the Growth Mindset Coach by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley it states “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” As educators we are capable of instilling in our students the belief that with deliberate practice, and dedication to a goal they can make incredible strides in their educational process. Students will use a least two types of goal setting during their educational career: performance goals (a goal designed to make a student look smart and capable) and learning goals (designed to help students learn regardless of performance). It is important that we teach them the difference between the two goals and help them understand that a performance goal will assist them in short-term comprehension and learning goals will lead them down a path of true mastery. Listed below are some characteristics of the two learning goals and how to recognize your student's goal setting techniques.

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Book of the Month

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

Heart and Soul by Kadir Nelson examines the story of American History and African Americans told by a one-hundred-year-old female narrator. It tells the story of the unwavering courage and perseverance that advanced liberty and justice in America. Heart and Soul is about people of color who would not be discriminated against and triumphed with determination and grit to achieve liberty and justice for all. Heart and Soul has won several awards including the 2012 Coretta Scott King Author Award and Illustrator Honor, and was the recipient of five starred reviews. It also features eight pages of discussion and curriculum material.

Heart and Soul Resource

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African History is available in Springfield Public Schools Libraries.

Springfield's Ninth Annual African American Read-In

Everyone is welcome to attend the Ninth Annual African American Read-In a national event created in 1990 by Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott of the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). The African American Read-In promotes diversity in children’s literature, encourages young people to read, and shines a spotlight on African American authors. The Springfield-area event is the only one listed with the NCTE in Missouri that is not located in either St. Louis or Kansas City.

The organizers of this collaborative evening of uplifting performances are: Missouri State University Libraries, Springfield Public Schools, the Springfield-Greene County Library District, Drury University, the Ozark Literacy Council, and the Springfield chapter of the NAACP. Come and enjoy an evening of entertainment with Reed Academy Choir, an original and timely play Why I Kneel written by Keisha McMillen a Drury University Theatre and Arts Administration Major and many other participants.

Coming Events

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