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February 2018
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Dear Twinsburg Schools’ Family,
Each February, our country celebrates Black History Month to honor African-Americans' achievements and contributions to society.  People and organizations across the country hold events to recognize pioneers such as Edward Alexander Bouchet, Langston Hughes and Thurgood Marshall.  In its earliest form, the tradition is 90 years old.  Here is some interesting information about the origin of Black History Month…
According to International Business News, historian Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week, which began on February 12, 1926. Mr. Woodson scheduled the commemoration at that time so that it matched up with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.  In 1976, Negro History Week became Black History Month. President Gerald Ford urged the public to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history." 
Twinsburg City School District students and staff will commemorate Black History Month through a variety of ways:                                                                                                  
Wilcox Primary School  - 
Each week during February, students will be introduced to a different group (Civil Rights and Government Leaders, Inventors and Scientists, Entertainers, Athletes) of famous African American through biographies/literature.  Mrs. Bell will utilize the Smart Board and other technology to engage students in discussion about these heroes.  Center activities will focus on the accomplishments of these and other famous Americans.

Students will draw portraits of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1st grade/Wilner)
Students will study the work of African-American artist Romare Bearden (Tait) 

Focus will be on the development of “African-America”' music: 
  • African American spirituals/Ella Fitzgerald
  • Ragtime-Scott Joplin ("Maple Leaf Rag")-early 1900's
  • Blues-Leadbelly ("Baby Don't You Love Me No More")-1920's
  • Jazz-Louis Armstrong ("Struttin' With Some BBQ", “It’s a Wonderful World)-1930-40's
  • R&B-Chuck Berry ("Johnny B. Goode")-1950's
  • Gospel/Soul-Aretha Franklin ("Lee Cross")-1960-70's
  • Rap/Hip-Hop-1980's-present
  • Pop-Michael Jackson
Physical Education:  Students will be working on gross motor, hand/eye coordination, and sports development through activities at different stations in the gym.  While they practice with equipment such as balls, bats, batons, basketballs, and footballs students will proceed through stations designated for different athletes.  Teachers will explain the significant impact each individual had on their sport.  Athletes include:  
  • Jackie Robinson – baseball 
  • John Taylor – track and field
  • Serena and Vanessa Williams - tennis
  • Lisa Leslie – basketball 
  • Jim Brown – football
Classes highlight the history and accomplishments of some of the following historical figures through literature and various projects.

First Grade:
  • Scholastic News stories and activities related to Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of the class shared reading instruction
  • After learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. students will write about a dream they have to make the world a better place
  • Guided Reading groups will focus on non-fiction and biographies of African Americans
  • Non-fiction, big book read alouds related to Black History month
  • United Streaming video and discussion about Ruby Bridges
  • Reader’s theater with guided reading groups using scripts related to the lives of Harriet Tubman, Ruby Bridges, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., etc.
Samuel Bissell Elementary School –
Second and third grade students at Samuel Bissell Elementary School will participate in the following activities (grade appropriate) for Black History Month:

*African American reports/posters/presentations
*African American Biography Cubes Project
*Reading African American comprehension passages and completing packets
*Reading African American Biographies in class
*Cold Reads and Timeline activities for African Americans
*African American All-School Bingo (Class competition)
*African American Read-A-Loud Books
*Secret Language Quilts Activity
*African American Posters - Scavenger Hunt (All school)
George G. Dodge Intermediate School –
Students at George G. Dodge Intermediate School will listen to announcements each morning and try to guess the name of the famous African American described each day.  Bulletin boards will focus on the following themes:
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Let’s Honor Our Past, Celebrate Our Future, Educate and Inspire Our Future
  • I Have A Dream Chalkboard
  • Who Said That?
Classroom activities will focus on themes related to Black History Month.  The Media Center will highlight literature written by and about famous African Americans.  The cafeteria staff will highlight African American chefs.
RB Chamberlin Middle School –
Here are examples of some of February’s special classroom activities:
7th Grade Science:  
Students will be celebrating Black History Month in Science by researching a well-known African American in the field of one of the Sciences. They will be given five links (including government links and national Science resource links related to this assignment.  Students will be researching and creating a poster on an African American they choose in Google Draw.  They will be expected to make the poster very informative and appealing to their audience which is their classmates. Additionally, there will be Slide presentations in class during the month to highlight African American scientists
8th Grade Language Arts: 
Students will experience a wide variety of literature throughout the month of February.  Students will start with the biography of “Ruby Nell Bridges”.  This will guide students through the 1960’s connecting them to the segregated south.  They then will witness racial discrimination with a connection to the author Clifton Taulbert as they read the autobiography, “Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored”.  We will then continue our journey through the 60’s with John Lewis and “The Power of Non-Violence”. This background information will then lead us into understanding the poetry related to the Renaissance Time Era and the works of Langston Hughes.  We will cover a combination of teacher/student selections as we interpret his writing and poetry.  

During the month celebrating Black History, students will create Low Relief face designs influenced by the Black Artist Kimmy Cantrell.  Students will also create self-portraits inspired by African American artist Kehinde Wiley.

Twinsburg High School – 
Our high school students are commemorating Black History Month with very special activities.  Throughout the month of February, 60 QR codes will be on the walls of Twinsburg High School.  Students can use their phones to access information about famous African Americans which will be embedded in the QR.  Local African Americans such as Frank Ross along with nationally recognized individuals will be featured in the QRs.  Additionally, on Tuesday, February 27th, the THS Black History Club will present, “The Freeman Family Reunion:  A Community Celebration, an Original Stage Production”.  The production is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium.  And of course, a family reunion would not be complete without home cooked food for the soul so our THS Black History Club will also host a Community Soul Food Dinner after the show catered by a local eatery.  Meal prices will vary based upon the food items ordered and proceeds will benefit a graduating senior scholarship.

Thanks for your continued partnership with our school community and your ongoing support of our students.  I hope to see you soon at one of our many District events.

Go Tigers!
Kathi Powers, Superintendent

Kathryn Powers
Administrative Assistant:
Marianne Franko
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11136 Ravenna Road | Twinsburg, OH 44087 | Phone: 330.486.2000 | Fax: 330.425.7216
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