Ways to commemorate
Black History Month
(SPM Wire) February, which is Black History Month, is a great opportunity for schools and individuals to turn their focus toward an important aspect of American history.
There are many ways citizens can commemorate the month across the country. This year, many are planning trips to the nation’s capital to visit the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture. This Smithsonian Institution museum features exhibitions on slavery, emancipation, social justice, cultural traditions and more.
Another way some are choosing to celebrate the month is to see the new film, “Hidden Figures,” which tells the story of a trio of African-American women mathematicians whose behind-the-scenes calculations made several NASA missions possible.
Families and students also can take trips to their local libraries this Black History Month to check out classic texts like “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave,” as well as such contemporary literature as “Between the World and Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Ask your local librarian for help in making age appropriate suggestions for your family.
Detroit Public Schools Community District and major partners from the city’s largest and most exciting arts and scientific museums and venues announced a series of free, fun and exciting events with a S.T.E.A.M. theme to engage DPSCD families in learning activities after school hours at the participating venues and at well-known family-friendly spots, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Institute of Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Belle Isle Nature Center, Michigan Science Center, Detroit Public Library, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Eastern Market and The Rink at Campus Martius Park. Other partnering organizations include Downtown Detroit Partnership, Detroit Public Television, detroitpbskids.org, and the Detroit Public Schools Foundation.
We will use #STEAMyWinter to highlight venues and events for the community to engage in this unique learning opportunity with our partners.
“We are pleased to partner with so many of the city’s most prominent Arts and Science museums, as well as family centered venues to create this extraordinary set of experiences for our current and prospective students,” said Alycia Meriweather, DPSCD Interim Superintendent.
Many of the events will be open to the public, thanks to the partnering organizations. Some events will be specifically for invited DPSCD/EAA students that selected educators will choose based their display of S.T.E.A.M. ingenuity. Those students – called DPSCD S.T.E.A.M.-gineers – and a family member will receive special invitations. In cases where there are a limited number of slots for an event, DPSCD will make available a small number of free tickets for prospective students. Details on how to RSVP for events with a limited number of tickets will be available within one week at detroitk12.org/enroll.
The partners overwhelmingly chimed in with their support.
“Art is critical to helping children and families connect to our shared history and understand creative problem solving,” said Salvador Salort-Pons, Director of the Detroit Institute of Arts. “We are thrilled to be able to devote a day to demonstrating to DPSCD students and families the many ways that art and science intersect.”
“DIME takes community outreach work seriously, and embraces every opportunity to support and contribute to the development of Detroit’s music communities. We believe that contemporary popular music is a valid and valuable field of study, and that the modern music business offers varied and exciting careers for those who have the right skills and knowledge. Studying at DIME enables students to acquire the skills which are necessary for sustainable long term careers,” said Karl Middleton Head of Institute. “Our event on March 5th offers aspiring, young musicians the chance to attend a variety of informative, introductory classes and gain insight into DIME’s unique approach to music education.”
“At the Michigan Science Center, we believe that all children and all communities should have access to STEM experiences that spark their curiosity and encourage imagination,” said Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO, Michigan Science Center. “Our newest IMAX® film, Dream Big, offers the perfect opportunity to inspire DPSCD students and their families.”
“As part of our commitment to offering incredible musical experiences for all members of our community, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is always seeking ways to be an advocate for Detroit students,” said DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons.
“We are committed to providing unique learning opportunities that lead to the appreciation and stewardship of wildlife and wild places,” said Ron Kagan, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society.
“The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is thrilled to be part of this DPSCD partnership. Today’s learners are tomorrow’s leaders. This robust cultural collaboration makes learning STEAM exciting and unforgettable. We look forward to welcoming participants to the Wright Museum,” said LaNesha DeBardelaben, Senior Vice President of Education & Exhibitions, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.
“We are excited to support this effort because it only strengthens our ability to be in the community and amplify the work we’ve been doing with parents and educators,” said Tara Hardy, DPTV’s Education Specialist. “We are committed to our mission of engaging children in learning through our programming and various initiatives such as Digital Adventure and the new Detroit PBS KIDS 24/7 Channel.”
Amy Corle, MOCAD’s Curator of Education and Public Engagement, says that “MOCAD’s newest exhibition, The Architectural Imagination, is filled with perfect examples of how Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics intersect in the real world.”
“The Detroit Public Library will joyfully continue to support and encourage the Detroit Public Schools Community District families through fun and engaging S.T.E.A.M. events,” stated Atiim J. Funchess, Assistant Director for Marketing & Communications, The Detroit Public Library.
“The DPS Foundation is proud to support the district’s S.T.E.A.M.y Series of events,” said Pamela Moore, President and CEO of the DPS Foundation. It’s part of the mission of the Foundation to support S.T.E.A.M. in education and career pathways, and we have directed hundreds of thousands of dollars in supportive grants to initiatives that support Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts and Math in our schools! We highly encourage industry and community partners to reach out to us to see how you, too, can make a difference by supporting our students.” through donations to the Foundation.”