APS Celebrates Black History Month

Atlanta Public Schools proudly celebrates Black History Month. As the nation salutes the trailblazing accomplishments and achievements of African Americans throughout the month of February, schools throughout our district are honoring the rich legacy of African-Americans in APS, Atlanta, and around the world.

From virtual museums and field trips and daily Black history facts, trivia and projects, to spotlighting African-Americans’ contributions to STEM, APS will celebrate Black History Month with a bevy of interactive, innovative, and thought-provoking activities, all designed to educate and inspire students and observers.

Below is just a sample of APS programs and activities happening in February and beyond to honor the trailblazers of the African-American community who helped clear a path to opportunity for so many of us. Be sure to check back for updates.

Bolton Academy

During the week of Feb. 21-25, Bolton Academy will highlight the cultural influence of the Harlem Renaissance, with students portraying notable people from this historical era in a recorded video. The video will be shared with students and staff following the program.

Boyd Elementary School

Students at Boyd Elementary School will be celebrating Black scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs throughout the month of February. Each Friday, Boyd teachers will share a special, interactive Black History spotlight for their scholars. In addition to daily Black history facts, trivia, and projects, other activities include: guest readers sharing a read-aloud featuring an African American author and/or characters; students creating inventions (the winner will receive a 3-D model of their creation); and scholars representing an African American who made an important contribution to society. Students are also invited to wear African attire, as well as tour and scan QR Codes to hear, read, and observe facts as part of the “Where Would We Be” Black History Gallery Walk (Past, Present, Future) and Artifact Museum.

Dobbs Elementary School

Throughout the month of February, students at Dobbs Elementary School will learn about prominent African Americans through daily morning announcements. Additionally, there will be a virtual museum featuring student recordings and musical performances in the school gym. Students will also engage in a Black History Family Feud-style game show using Black history facts. The show will be filmed on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Heritage Academy

Heritage Academy is getting into the spirit of Black History by having a Black history door decorating contest. Administrators and school staff are all invited to decorate their doors with the Black inventor of their choice.

Hollis Innovation Academy

Black History Month abounds at Michael R. Hollis Innovation Academy! Teachers can now access a virtual link to resources that can be used to strengthen their instruction during Black History Month. Throughout the month, students will participate in virtual field trips to help them become actively involved in history. A “Who Am I?” weekly activity, which consists of classroom projects and writing activities, will allow students to collaborate to research and determine as a class who the mystery person is for the week. Teachers will also share a Daily Black History inspiration.

In addition to those activities, each grade level has created a mural for their pod of a different African-American historical figure. A virtual Black History program will air on the Hollis YouTube Page on Monday, Feb. 28.

Hope-Hill Elementary School

“This month we will recognize and celebrate past and present African Americans who have left an impressionable mark on our world,” said Gwendolyn Taylor, third-grade teacher at Hope-Hill Elementary School, and member of the school’s Heritage Committee.

Here are a few school-wide activities planned at Hope-Hill for the month of February: 

Trivia Thursdays – Students (Pre-K – 2nd) (3rd-5th) will have a trivia question every Thursday in February.  Homeroom teachers can display the questions and/or picture of the famous African American. Prizes will be distributed to the winners in each homeroom.   

Door or Bulletin Board Display honoring famous African Americans or a major event in Black History

Tuesday, Feb. 22: Fifth-grade students will participate in a wax museum based on their research of historical figures in social studies. Students will share their presentations at that time.

Friday, Feb. 25: Famous African-American History Parade – Students will conduct research to learn information about notable African Americans who made significant contributions to our country based on class projects. Two students will represent each class in the parade. Teachers can also dress in African attire on that day. 

Mary Lin Elementary School

To celebrate love, kindness, and Black History Month, Mary Lin Elementary School is planning an array of engaging and a great opportunity to enhance students’ learning of African-American contributions:

• Students will participate in Daily Trivia by utilizing the link for Kahoot Trivia games. There is a theme for each grade level. Each class will choose a different person (one person per class), print, or draw picture, research 4 or more interesting facts and hang the information outside your classroom as a bulletin board or door decor. The themes are: Kindergarten-Athletes, 1st-Civil Right Leaders, 2nd-Inventors, 3rd- Educators/Scholars, 4th-Government, and 5th- Entertainers.
• An In-School Black History Month Celebration about the history of rap and hip hop will be held on Friday, Feb. 25, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the atrium, if weather permits. Each grade level will be assigned a time to visit the atrium. The program will be held in the auditorium, in the event of rain.

North Atlanta High School
Wednesday, Feb. 23:
North Atlanta High School will host a live Black History Month performance for 11th and 12th-grade students during first and second periods and will be recorded to share with ninth and 10th graders at a later date.

Sara Smith Elementary School

The PTO Multicultural Committee are presenting Black Innovators in Science and Beyond. The program will provide students throughout the month of February with opportunities to learn, participate, share their talents, and reflect on the contributions of Blacks to society.

Each week the students will have a music playlist highlighting Black artists.  The music will include sounds of jazz, Motown, opera, etc.  Additionally, during the morning announcements in the month of February there will be a focus on the importance of iconic people who have contributed in science, the arts, sports, and Georgia natives.

Also, students will experience a virtual assembly featuring the Zuzu African Acrobats on Feb. 25 at 9 a.m.  The Zuzu Acrobats perform traditional African acrobatics passed on by generations of Bantu people in East Africa. They combine circus arts with traditional dance movement and music. Their signature acts are pyramid building, hand balance, unicycling, chair balance, and movement. The group has performed recently at the Afrika Afrika, the San Diego Zoo, Dollywood, NBA halftime shows, and more.

Lastly, the students at Sarah Smith Elementary School will have the opportunity to submit a sixty-second video of a poem, song, play an instrument, dance, highlight an African-American icon, or share what they have learned from Black History Month. These Flipgrid submissions will assist with creating the culminating video representation that will feature Black History reflections, and original play on “Black Innovators in Science.”

South Atlanta High School

South Atlanta High School is sponsoring a “Focus Your Energy” poster contest.  The top three advisory classes with the best positive affirmation posters will win a free breakfast party. Winners will be posted on social media.

Usher Collier Heights Elementary School
At Usher Collier Heights, students are combining STEM with Black history and women’s history, all while using “The Wiz” as its anchor. Students will present “Ease On Down STEM Road” on Friday, Feb. 25, at 9 a.m. An evening performance of the student production is planned for parents at 6 p.m.

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