Learning about black history: Children ages K-12 are participating in Summer Academy

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Black History Summer Academy is teaching classes of kids ages K-12 and a few adults in Springfield at Drury University.

“We want to promote family, and unity, and love in our community,” said Gwen Marshall, the organizer.

One student of the class, Elijah Jackson, talked about what he has learned so far.

“We learned about Michelle Obama and her story, what her husband and her two daughters,” said Jackson.

Another student said she is enjoying her class.

“We learned about the president,” said Katrisa Hughes, a student, “we listened to his story, and his story was very fun to listen to.”

Tuesday, June 15, was mini-Park Day, where students were taught about the history of Silver Springs Park.

“The fact that it was the only park that blacks could attend,” said Marshall.

Marshall said classroom days are soon to begin.

“On Friday, we would be at Deliverance Temple for the culmination of all of the weeks’ activities, so there, the children will have an entrepreneurship fair, with that fair, they will make products to sell,” said Marshall.

This year’s curriculum is called “hidden gems.”

“African Americans, places where African Americans like to go, events that we tend to celebrate as well as just acknowledging where the black community was in Springfield pre-segregation and after segregation,” said Monica Horton, a teacher for 9 to 12-grade girls.

Teachers ask students to think about what the word “excellence” means, “black excellence specifically, and that is tied to our identity, and who we are and being proud of who we are,” Horton said, “part of knowing where you’re going, is knowing where you’ve come from.”

For more information about the event, visit the Springfield Public School’s website.

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