In the spirit of fostering an inclusive community that celebrates diversity and unity, Dogwood Elementary's Dolphins Belong initiative has taken a significant step forward this Black History Month. Spearheaded by school counselor Brandi Fitchpatric and ESL teacher Millicent Williams, members of the Dolphins Belong Committee, the school has embraced a series of educational and interactive activities designed to enrich students' understanding and appreciation of African American history and culture. This also gives teachers a cohesive, age appropriate, and organized plan for celebrating the occasion.
The overall initiative aims to ensure that every member of the Dogwood family feels a sense of belonging and has led to the implementation of a comprehensive guide for teachers. This guide has enabled meaningful classroom discussions, interactive hands-on activities, and the integration of Black History Month into daily school life—from morning announcements to specialized classroom guidance, library sessions, and even music and art classes. The aim is not only to educate but to inspire students to recognize the profound impact of diverse cultures on society and to see themselves as world changers capable of making a positive impact in their everyday lives.
A standout feature of this month's celebrations has been the creation of tangible products that leave a lasting impression on students. For example, the fifth-grade Black History Quilt project allows students to delve into autobiographies, fostering a deep sense of pride and community. Additionally, memorable moments such as the entire school's engagement with the story of Raye Montague, the pioneering naval engineer, highlight the initiative's impact.
Through Dolphins Belong, Dogwood Elementary is setting a precedent for how schools can celebrate Black History Month. By highlighting significant figures and events in African American history and integrating these lessons into the fabric of students' education, Dogwood is not only honoring the past but paving the way for a future where diversity and unity are celebrated in equal measure.