Gatewood Elementary kicked off their Black History Month celebration on Feb. 1 with an exciting student welcome. Students were greeted by local military and service personnel as they walked in the doors.
The month’s theme is “American Heroes: Past, Present, and Future.” The greeters represented American heroes of the present. Gatewood students are American heroes of the future and an American hero from the past will be studied in each classroom.
Each grade level will learn about a different American hero who has enriched history throughout the month. Heidi Christen, Gatewood first-grade teacher, said the Black History month curriculum includes timeline and historical facts.
“We think it’s important so students from a young age are taught history and truth of history,” Christen said. “The truth of history helps build empathy and understanding that sometimes gets missed.”
Christen didn’t learn much about African American history when she was a student. In fact, much of what she has learned, she learned as an adult. Through that experience, she understands the importance of teaching students.
“I think we can raise kids from a young age to understand those true stories from American history, and we will be a better society,” Christen said.
The month-long celebration will culminate at a Feb. 22 event with a school-wide assembly. Guest readers, community members, and parents of students, will be invited as guests in the school for the day. There will also be musical performances.