Throughout February, Lower School students have celebrated Black History Month by learning about Black history and excellence in the arts, humanities, politics, science, and sports. From meaningful research projects to student-directed video presentations, they have shared the stories of some extraordinary trailblazers!

To set the stage for an incredible month, each division’s morning message or meeting incorporated Black History highlights and achievements, and inspirational quotes affirming diversity, equity, and inclusion ran each day on the flat screens throughout campus. The Lower School’s Good Morning Pardue Hall program introduced a weekly student-led feature inspired by the “Because Of Them We Can Campaign,” a nation-wide effort to tell the stories of iconic Black history figures of the past and present. Students from different grades not only enjoyed choosing a significant person to spotlight but also appreciated the chance to share their findings with the rest of the Lower School.

For many Lower School classes, a key element of their activities revolved around honoring the extensive contributions of Black Americans. Before the start of their physical education classes, students gained motivation from Black athlete profiles mounted on the gym bulletin boards. In the third grade, students selected a notable South Carolinian in order to research his or her life story, accomplishments, and impact. Afterward, the girls created biographic posters and recorded their findings to FlipGrid. Anna Decosta Banks, Shirley Tyus, Septima Clark, and Ralph Johnson were just a few of the many role models they highlighted.

While reading the work of poets Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and Nikki Grimes and learning about their life experiences, fourth graders analyzed how culture influences literature and perspective and how poetry can promote an understanding of another person’s experience and point of view. As part of their poet project, they not only delved deeper into the life and work of a renowned Black poet but also were inspired to craft a poem modeled on the examples they examined.

Although February is drawing to a close, Lower School students look forward to continuing their research into Black history and excellence and to gaining inspiration from the phenomenal Black men and women of both the past and present.