Los Angeles County Office of Education

03/05/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/05/2021 19:16

LACOE, Probation staff go the extra mile to help youth celebrate Black History Month

Black culture and the contributions of African Americans were on display Feb. 24 at the Kirby Center in Commerce where youth were treated to an interactive learning experience thanks to the efforts of LACOE and Probation staff.

'We wanted our students to have a special celebration and educational experience in honor of Black History Month, with the goal of creating an event that felt like a school field trip even though our students can't leave the facility,' said Donna Baker, assistant principal of LACOE's Juvenile Court School serving youth placed at Kirby.

A LACOE-Probation team spent two months planning the event, which featured 10 exhibits representing important people and events in Black history. At an exhibit dedicated to voting rights activist Stacey Abrams students learned about the Reconstruction Amendments and the importance of H.R.1, the For the People Act.

The Abrams exhibit provided voter registration forms, and 18-year-old students were encouraged to take that important step.

Exhibits featured videos and slide shows and honored scientists, politicians, inventors and musicians. Each student received a book of Tupac Shakur's lyrics and poetry, and a passport to show they had visited each exhibit to receive school credit.
Information about Historically Black Colleges and Universities was provided, and representatives from their fraternities and sororities were on hand to answer questions.

Student-created posters honoring Black History Month were on display at the event, which concluded with a delicious soul food lunch.

Photo (from left): Assistant Principal Donna Baker, Probation's Janice Harris and LACOE teacher Suzie Jolgren at the Kirby Center's Black History Month celebration.