Kids learn civil rights history through the arts

February 25, 2011 2:34:07 PM PST
Some students in Chicago are reenacting the days of Rosa Parks and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King.

Every year at Jose de Diego Community Academy, an elementary school on the North Side, children look forward to performing in the annual African-American Heritage Assembly during Black History Month.

On Friday, pre-schoolers enjoyed singing "The World is a Rainbow" with the message that everyone should be treated equally. Students also performed "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and learned all about Jackie Robinson, the first African-American Major League Baseball player.

Students had an opportunity to hear all about the civil rights movement and what it means to be free.

"We integrate the arts into the curriculum and we hope that comes out in the students' performances," said Principal Alice Vera, Jose Diego Community Academy.

Moderator Joshua Gonzales talked about the contributions of Martin Luther King.

"People, everywhere, no matter the color of their skin, work together, live together and treat each other with treat each other with respect," said Joshua.

A civil rights sketch involving the story behind activist Rosa Parks and how she refused to sit in back of the bus and was arrested was touchin.

"She was brave. When she got arrested, she didn't cry," said Autumn Hardy, student.

"It is a fantastic opportunity to bring the community together and also to share with the kids different cultures," said parent Anthony Caballero.

The civil rights movement was an important and critical time in American history. Black History Month is an opportunity to learn more about the movement and how just a hand full of people started the movement and changed the world, making it a better place to live in.