Oak Park Elementary educates students about local leaders during Black History Month

Black History Month

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Oak Park Elementary is using educational videos this Black History Month to teach students about how local leaders in their community are making history of their own.

During the first week of February, students highlighted educators such as Caddo Parish Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree and other educators who impacted their lives as part of the school’s Honoring Black Excellence, Shreveport Edition series.

According to Assistant Principal Jessica Rambo-Franklin, the kids will also be learning local politics and more about Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins.

“Celebrating Black History gives us a break from COVID. I think everywhere we look, it’s COVID, COVID, COVID, So this gives us a moment to step out of COVID and highlight different people in our community,” Franklin said.

She said teaching during COVID has changed, so they’ve adapted to new teaching methods.

“Daily, we display a video in which the kids get to learn about someone local here in Shreveport, that’s doing special things.”

In return for their participation, the students are rewarded.

“It is so exciting to go into the classroom and to see them listening to the videos. At the end of the day, we do these HOT (High Order Thinking) questions, where they get to come to the office and get prizes, so they want to make sure they are paying attention.”

One fifth-grader said she now understands why so many African Americans boycotted and marched for their freedom.

“We didn’t have equal rights before so it got to the point where we had to start marching on and on and on,” Ma’Kenzy Taylor said.

“Our end-goal here at Oak Park is for our students to realize that they can one day be a person that is highlighted. They can inspire someone else. So we want to make sure that they know that there are people here in Shreveport doing great things,” Franklin said.

“Some people don’t know about it and some of them are not interested in it but once we tell them the full story, they would probably understand and be more interested,” Taylor said.

Students in grades Pre-K through 5th will participate in this year’s virtual Black History Month program, which will be available on February 26 for all to see.

The program is to highlight each student’s excellence and extraordinary talents this month.

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