Letter from Lara Zelski – January 30, 2019

Dear ANCS Family and Friends,

Congratulations to William Smith for winning the 4th & 5th grade first ever Geo Bee. William was recognized in morning meeting on Monday. To honor the Geo Bee and support our students excitement about learning geography, we are singing three songs together in morning meeting about geography, Name the Continents, This Land is Your Land, and Fifty, Nifty United States.

Our focus for morning meeting throughout the month of February is celebrating Black History Month. Each day throughout the month we will share interesting historical facts and highlight important African Americans in morning meeting. We have a committee here at school that has planned a lot of activities to celebrate African American culture. Mrs. Shelley (our librarian) is sharing some beautiful books that focus on Black History each Thursday. Classroom teachers will continue the learning in their classrooms through conversations and exploration.

Since February is a short month, and we have a week-long break from the 18th to the 22nd, we will extend our celebration into March (which is Women’s History Month). In March, we will specifically focus on Black women who impacted history. Do you and your family have something you would like to share with our school community during morning meeting? Just reach out to me and we will get you on the morning meeting agenda.

It is important for me to note that while we are highlighting African Americans and significant historical events in history during February, we recognize that one cannot separate Black history from American history as a whole. Though we are choosing to highlight certain African Americans throughout Black History Month, it is important to us that students learn about famous, and not so famous, African Americans through our regular curriculum and in their own exploration of history.

Just a little background on how Black History Month was started. Historian, Carter Godwin Woodson, was concerned by what he viewed as scholarly neglect or misrepresentation of his people. In 1926 he announced the second week of February to be “Negro History Week.” This week was chosen because it marked the birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglas. Black History Month has been observed in America since 1976, but is also celebrated throughout the world, including Canada and the U.K.

If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to complete the Georgia school climate survey for parents. This survey is used in conjunction with other data to assign each school in the state a “school climate star rating”. You can read more about the surveys and the climate star rating on the Georgia Department of Education website. Please complete the parent survey for ANCS between now and February 26th. Click here to access the survey.

As always, I am happy to answer any questions you may have. Enjoy the remainder of your week!

Lara