Every February, the U.S. honors the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who have helped shape the nation. Black History Month celebrates the rich cultural heritage, triumphs, and adversities that are an indelible part of our country’s history.
And every February, Child Center programs celebrate and observe in creative, meaningful ways that take our breath away and show that our young people often are our greatest teachers. Read on for a sampling of how our programs marked this special month this year.
M.S. 283 Preparatory Academy for Writers: Students in our “Play After Work” afterschool program participated in a special art class in honor of Black History Month. See the slideshow (left) featuring Elijah with his Black Lives Matter painting; Jordan with a painting of Martin Luther King, Jr.; and Aniyah with a portrait of Rosa Parks. PAW Program Director Tayna Garnett underscored the importance of the event, saying, “As the director of PAW Afterschool, I believe it’s important that our students feel empowered and inspired by knowing about Black history because representation matters, and the achievements of African Americans should be celebrated.”
August Martin High School: On February 17, The Child Center of NY celebrated Black History Month with the August Martin High School community. The culminating event was No One Eats Alone for Respect for All Week 2023, and the school had scholars Dressed to Impress! We offered a breakfast spread for all our scholars and provided activities and games to end the week. Through a unique “pizza” activity, scholars decorated paper pizzas in groups to demonstrate working together, “eating” together, and combatting social isolation. Scholars also participated in an activity where they wrote on cut-out paper hands what they want to be remembered for and/or how they wanted to go down in history. This event also served as an attendance incentive. Those in attendance had the opportunity to receive care packages with wristbands, stickers, and t-shirts.
P.S. 156 Waverly School of the Arts: Community School Director Desiree Jackson organized a Black History photo shoot for the school’s Black History Gallery Walk. The photo shoot included 10-year-old Aria as Vice President Kamala Harris (see above) and 10-year-old Zaire as Martin Luther King, Jr. (below). Zaire is the student body president for this year, and he is playing Simba in this year’s production of Lion King Kids. Aria will play Rafiki in the same play.
Ocean Bay Cornerstone Community Center: Stay tuned for Black History Moment 2023, a skit presented by Rockaway Cultural Group, scheduled for February 28. The skit is about George Washington Carver and his inventions. Participants will sing the Black National Anthem before the skit begins and the performance will highlight 10 African American inventions.
Hear our participants’ beautiful rendition of the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”!
At The Child Center, we know that Black history is American history, and our diversity always has been our greatest strength. Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) is an integral part of everything we do. For more information about how The Child Center works to sustain a thriving culture of belonging that centers our diversity of cultures, identities, beliefs, skills, and lived experiences, visit our EDIB in the Workplace page. As we move forward in our efforts to serve our clients in a way that is consistent with EDIB principles, we are equally invested in ensuring that we support our team in the same way. This is a top priority of The Child Center, and the core of who we are: an organization dedicated to ensuring all individuals and communities have the tools and opportunities to rise!