Black History Celebration, SistaStrings, Deanna Singh, & More

Black History Celebration

Thank you to all of the students, staff, families, and community members who participated in or attended the Shorewood High School Black History Celebration on Monday evening, February 11th.
The theme for this year’s celebration—selected by the students—was “Culture.” After providing a definition of culture, the students engaged, informed, and educated the audience around topics such as hair, food, family, music, dance, important figures who have significantly impacted culture and poetry.
The program also featured special guest speaker, Kwabena Nixon, who is a nationally renowned spoken word artist, writer, educator, organizer and motivational speaker.
The evening was a big success and was a true testament to the time and effort put into the production by the students.
View a video of the entire production below:
Musicians SistaStrings
Atwater Elementary and Lake Bluff Elementary had the pleasure of bringing in local musicians, SistaStrings to perform a concert for the entire school bodies. SistaStrings are sisters who are using their gifts of music to create social change.They spoke with the students about the joy it brings them to make others happy with their music, and how music brings so many people together. 

As classically trained instrumentalists, Monique and Chauntee Ross are a dynamic, collaborative pair riffing on elements of classic and gospel music to create a unique sound rooted in passion. Their sound is soulful and fresh, a truly unique blend of their eclectic musical background. Their training in classical music paired with a deep love in gospel music has allowed them to cultivate their improvisation skills and use their instruments as their voice.
Author Deanna Singh

Both elementary schools also welcomed author and guest speaker, Deanna Singh, to talk with students about her books I Am a Girl of Color and I Am a Boy of Color, and to discuss the concept of having pride in your own identity. She focused much of her time speaking with the students about positive self image and lifting others up, as well as talking about the author process. "It took me 22 times of rewriting for me to get to the final version of my 14-sentence book," says Singh. "And it took the hard work of a lot of people to make this story perfect." 
Following the visit from Singh, every elementary school classroom received a copy of one of her books. Learn more about Deanna Singh here.

Youth Rising Up Read Alouds 

Youth Rising Up, a student organization at SHS committed to racial inclusion and combating racism, sent ambassadors to visit both elementary schools for an entire day and read a variety of books to the elementary students.

Some of the titles included: Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, Crown: An Ode to a Fresh Cut, Chocolate Me, I Am Enough, Of Thee I Sing, and Mixed Me. The younger students from both schools thoroughly enjoyed their time spent with the YRU mentors and learned a great deal about black history in the process.

Trivia Game and Ally Club Classroom Features

At Shorewood Intermediate School, a large Black History Month timeline was posted in the Commons area highlighting African-American heroes, along with beautiful Kente cloth decorations (thanks to SIS teacher Madame Koerten), and students also engaged in an interactive Black History Month trivia contest.

The Ally Club, a group of students who advocate for equality in Shorewood Intermediate School, encouraged teachers and students to take the time to talk about black history by researching famous black people throughout history. Ally Club students provided each teacher with a poster and brief biography of a significant member of the black community for them to talk about in class. During the month of February, SIS teachers talked about the famous person they were given.
These are just a few highlights of the many activities and events that took place throughout the District during Black History Month.