Goldbacks In The News at Balmville Elementary and NFA North Campus!
Students at Balmville are learning about famous African-Americans who have made strides and worked to unite the country. Teachers are teaching their students to embrace diversity. "[We're] making sure that every child feels valued, every child feels loved, and that they feel that they can contribute to American society," said Balmville Elementary Assistant Principal Beverley Johnson. Spectrum News visited Mrs. Calman's second grade class and listened in as scholars described the trials and tribulations of important African-American's that shaped our country, such as Ruby Bridges, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Jackie Robinson. The school's beautiful showcase put together by administrators and students in the main lobby of the building also highlighted African-American culture and literature.
Spectrum was interested in viewing lessons about Black History Month throughout our district and within different age ranges of our student population. Newburgh Free Academy, North Campus was studying the criminal justice system and how it impacts minorities. During their lesson, they skyped with a lawyer for the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit started to advocate for criminal justice reform. The EJI also does a lot of work with the goal of memorializing black history. Ms. Hesse explained that these students have been doing a lot of research work around these topics.
"I think it is very important for Black History Month, not only for everybody in America and also young black people to learn some of these struggles [they] have gone through to put us in this position that we are in now, which is very good," said Newburgh Free Academy sophomore Qualib Smith.
"What I think they're seeing is that, even though there are so many issues and unfair things, unfair practices happening within the criminal justice system, there are many individuals who are working to create change, and that we're not powerless as people," said Newburgh Free Academy English teacher Jacqueline Hesse.
See the full Spectrum News Story here.