2018 African American History Month Programs & Activities

All WJCC schools will observe African American History month through various classroom and school-based activities. Here are a few highlights of the wonderful activities that will take place in our schools.

Elementary Schools

Clara Byrd Baker

Daily facts segment on our Baker News Network (BNN) about notable African Americans starting with our very own Clara Byrd Baker – may include inventors, educators, artists; Weekly Friday “quiz” on BNN about the people highlighted with recognition going to the first class to submit answers; Hallway bulletin board(s); Books pulled from library and reading room for teachers to use in their mini-lessons/shared reading throughout the month

D.J. Montague

Contributions of African Americans will be shared on the morning announcements; The background music for the morning announcements will be music of African American musicians; African American community members will read to students during guidance lessons with a lesson on theme or moral of the story to be a springboard for the classroom guidance lesson; Books about famous African Americans and books by African American authors will be displayed in the Media Center; A bulletin board with an Instagram theme will display pictures and contributions of African Americans who have had an impact on our world. Quotes from D.J. students (and their picture) about how they could change or impact our world will also be included on the bulletin board; In art and music class, students will be studying the work of African American artists and musicians.

James River

Dylan Pritchard will speak to the entire schools and the Media Center will display African American books on top of book shelves. An employee will also be showcased on the bulletin board in the hallway. Lesson plans ideas and other ideas will be sent to the teachers to use at their discretion. A short clip about Famous African Americans will be shown on the news weekly and the second grade is putting on a show as well.

J. Blaine Blayton

During the month of February, students will be engaged in activities to spotlight prominent African Americans past and present. Our school is excited about the many opportunities for students to learn about African Americans from our own community and across our nation as we celebrate African American History month at JBB.

School wide, on February 8th we will host renowned African American Storyteller, Sheila Arnold. Ms. Arnold currently resides in Hampton, VA. She is the CEO and Lead Performer of History’s Alive! Through History’s Alive!, Ms. Arnold has given over 600 presentations for schools, churches, professional organizations and museums, in 26 states. She has twice been one of the featured “regional” Storytellers at the Colonial Williamsburg Storytelling Festival. Ms. Arnold has also presented Professional Development sessions, Storytelling Programs and Character Presentations at educational conferences, including Valley Forge Teacher Institute (2 years), Social Studies Conferences in New York, Louisiana, Virginia, South Carolina, Arkansas and Oklahoma, and at the National Council of Social Studies.
More details and contact information can be found on her website at www.mssheila.org

Additionally, all JBB students will learn about important facts through our “Famous African Americans Trivia”, as we celebrate the many contributions made by famous African Americans, including our own Dr. J. Blaine Blayton, on the morning announcements. Along with our school-wide initiatives, our centers classes will be studying African American culture. For example, in the media center, Mrs. Keller has prepared a display of books for staff and students to check out. Students will have the opportunity to enjoy these text being read by teachers in class as we participate in the African America Read-In. All of our JBB staff will record the books that they read to their classes at (http://www.ncte.org/aari/toolkit) throughout the month for this event. From the readings, students will have opportunities to participate in follow up discussions such as webs, book reports, class discussion and many other reading strategies to reinforce comprehension and knowledge of these special people. In music, African American culture will be exemplified as the students study jazz music, African American dances, and games. In addition to participating in the African American Read-In, teachers have prepared different lessons for all age groups such as: African American author studies; read alouds about famous African Americans in history; African American readers’ theater; and story quilts to name a few. All year long, classroom teachers share literature that focuses around the various important contributors to our lives by such famous African Americans as Jackie Robinson, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carter, Martin Luther King and many others that are emphasized through our Virginia Standards of Learning.

Laurel Lane

PNN (morning news) spotlight each week; Black History Month bulletin boards; Read aloud and small group books available from the library (biography of an African American (past & present), stories with African American characters, nonfiction text about real events that happened pertaining to African Americans); Each class will be doing at least one BHM activity; SCA making posters to decorate the school


School-wide assembly “I Have a Dream” – February 21st, 10:15 AM; African Americans on display in case throughout hallways, decorated to reflect African American contributions and artifacts in history; African American History Reading Challenge – Read With Me! Students will be encouraged to read 28 children’s books that feature/celebrate the contributions of African Americans in America; African American History Trivia Challenge

During the morning announcements, students will hear facts about African Americans in history and classes are invited to answer a trivia question each Friday; Learn it! Share it! As students learn about African American History this month, they will be encouraged to share with the school community through a variety of mediums…write a poem, make a dance, sing a song, create a work of art inspired by what you have learned! Students will have the opportunity to share these during the morning announcements;

Elementary Schools (cont.)

Matthew Whaley

All Matthew Whaley students will attend the Virginia Repertory Theatre’s production of “I Have a Dream” on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 2:00pm in the school auditorium.


Some of the third graders will be creating a character in a can. This report is a twist on a bibliography.

Also, on the live Thursday morning Beep Beep News show in Feb. we are presenting facts about famous black people and their accomplishments. Also, the kindergarten students will come on the show and present what they are learning in their classroom about famous African Americans.


We are researching and studying all the African American athletes in the Winter Olympics. We will have displays too and information on athletes who were the first to medal in their events.

Middle Schools


Daily Facts on Bulldog News, Multicultural Board decorated to reflect Black History contributions and facts, Hallways decorated to reflect Black History contributions and facts, Lesson plans provided to core subject teachers with student feedback for data collection, Writing contests, shared with English teachers, African-American BMS Faculty and Staff interviewed and video-interview compilation shared with school via website, Black History Month Celebration Program (Feb 28)

  • Open to community
  • Learning sessions
  • Assembly celebration
  • BHM merchandise for sale 

Lois Hornsby Middle School – Theme “The First”

Jazz will be played in main entrance each day; Black history questions are included in Monday’s daily game plan warm-up (answers will be collected on Friday by homeroom teacher); answers will be collected and a winner will be drawn during 6th grade lunch); Each morning a short bio of a historical or present day African American will be read by a student; A school employee will be honored on the main hallway bulletin board. (Bio: Coach Edgar Randall is our bio pick); Coach Randall will be interviewed, and each interview will be played on Fridays Hawk’s News; Posters of historical figures are hung throughout the school. (ex. Science, inventors, singers, actors, etc.); Display case will present biography literature, Bio of Cheer Leading Coach Carter; Links will be sent out to Hornsby Staff to apply in all core class and related arts; African American Educational time aside the Bio Pick displayed on the bulletin board; Notable African Americans door decorations of a historical figure;  Media Center display African American books on top of book shelves; Thurgood Marshall was the first African American to serve on the 1967 Supreme Court Justice in the History of the United Sates. Educators are privileged to watch the Bio. of Thurgood Marshall on History Bio Channel; Power point of Historical figures will be viewed on the main Hallway Television; Pep Rally will have black history content included: Guest Speakers, Songs, etc.; Morning announcements about historical African Americans; Black History themed bulletin board in the cafeteria; Door Decorating Contest – 1 winner per grade level; The Media Center is featuring a Black History Month display, encouraging students to check out and read African American Biographies; Links emailed to staff for choices of activities to apply in core classes

High Schools


Jamestown High School is beginning each morning by reflecting on quotes from accomplished and inspirational  Black Americans.  A calendar of local events and programs celebrating Black History Month will be linked on the In addition, the student group E.M.E.R.G.E (Elevating Multiculturalism and Equitable Relationships to Generate Excellence) will feature student/staff spotlights as part of the I AM JAMESTOWN campaign.

I AM JAMESTOWN campaign, which will to fostering the empathy and inclusion in the JHS community.


Black History Door Decorating Contest: Will begin on February 1st through February 9th. This year official theme is “A Century of Black Life, History and Culture”. Third block classes will be eligible to participate because the prize is a Soul Food Lunch from Corey’s! All doors will be judged on the 12thof February and winners will be revealed at the Black History Assembly.

Black Professional Visitation: On February 15th African American first will be here to speak in different classes about their experiences within the realm of class subject matter.

  1. Vanessa West- 1st Female/black Secretary Treasure of the Teamsters in Virginia
  2. Sierre Wake-A descendant of Irene Morgan
  3. Purcell Piggot-Graduate of LHS and entrepenuer
  4. Kathleen Getward- Historian/Storyteller
  5. Vernon V. Ellis- School Integration and armed Forces
  6. Diane Carter-1st African American woman accepted into W&M Law school
  7. Maureen Lee-Dean of History at Hampton University

Movie Festival: A black film will be featured the week of February 19th-23rd. It will play during lunch times in the lecture hall. Students who participate will need to sign up prior to that week to get a lunch pass. Seating is limited.

Daily Black History Trivia during AEP class. The class that has the most correct will win donut and juice breakfast.

Black History Assembly: February  28th, 2018

The Art Department is featuring Kehinde Wiley for the month. He is a Los Angeles native and New York based visual artist. He is known for picturing young black people in stylized portraits that are deliberate throwbacks to early traditional historic paintings.


School- wide event to focus on historical African American women. Movie viewing and panel discussion. Panel will consist of community leaders to include NASA and other specialists in STEM careers. The student led panel discussion will highlight various career and career paths for STEM related fields. “Reflections like contest” for students to highlight AA historical and current figures. The winner(s) will be announced at the school-wide event. Daily facts will be shared about African Americans historical and current leaders.