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U-46 Celebrates Black History Month with Special Programs, Events, and Projects

Feb. 14, 2024

black history month wall at harriet gifford While School District U-46 aims to celebrate Black history throughout the school year, our schools and District have been recognizing the contributions of Black Americans throughout the month of February.


The District’s Department of Equity & Innovation is hosting two special events open to students, staff, and community members.


“Healing and Belonging Through Verse” is a virtual workshop during which participants will explore the works of writer Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, especially poems from her books “The Peace Chronicles” and “Love from the Vortex” that focus on themes of love, belonging, and the need for healing. The workshop will also include space for participants to engage in writing exercises and share their own work. That event is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m., and registration is encouraged here.


“Voices of Distinction: Owning the Glory in Our Stories,” is an in-person event designed to spotlight African-American staff who are making a difference in the everyday lives of U-46 students. It will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20, in the auditorium at Larkin High School. 


Teachers and school leaders across the District have also created special activities and events while acknowledging that we cannot limit Black history lessons and celebrations to the month of February. Some of the events are listed below.







Harriet Gifford Elementary 

A Mini-Reader’s Theater: Morning announcements feature a student reading a paragraph in the first person about an important African-American figure in history and then placing their photo on the Black History Wall 

All month 

Horizon Elementary

Morning announcements featuring quotes related to Black History Month, read by I Am LEAD students

All month 

Otter Creek Elementary

Morning announcements will feature students sharing accomplishments about African-American men and women they have researched 

All month 

Kenyon Woods Middle School

Displays, morning announcements and a food drive centered around Black History Month 

All month 

Tefft Middle School

Daily student messages and door decorations centered around Black History Month

All month 

Bartlett High School

Facts related to Black History Month read during the morning announcements

All month 

Elgin High School 

Frederick Douglass Exhibit in Library 

All month 

Ridge Circle Elementary

Open Mic in which students share details about and quotes from influential African Americans they have researched 

Fridays in February 

Heritage Elementary

Soul of Heritage - Black History Event and Black Expo 

Thursday, Feb. 15, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

I Am LEAD Mentor Group

Celebration of Black Beauty: Paint & Create

Saturday, Feb. 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Virtual Event

A Night of Poetry with Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz. Register here

Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Larkin High School

Voice of Distinction: Owning The Glory in Our Stories - A panel presentation featuring U-46 staff 

Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

Streamwood High School

Staff vs. Students basketball game, a fundraiser to raise funds for the Black Student Union Family Reunion and support local Black businesses 

Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Channing Elementary School

Black History Celebration and Literacy Night 

Thursday, Feb. 22, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Virtual Event

Panel with representatives from several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) 

Tuesday, Feb. 27, from 6  p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

Parkwood Elementary School

Gallery Walk focused on African Americans 

Thursday, Feb. 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

Ridge Circle Elementary

Gallery Walk featuring student-decorated doors honoring influential African Americans. Elgin’s “Project 2-3-1” will be shown in the gym

Thursday, Feb. 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

Virtual Event

African American Advisory Council meeting with special guest Dr. Bettina Love 

Thursday, Feb. 29, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

Larkin High School 

The Catapult of the Collective: Our Legacy, Our Vision, and Our Path 

Thursday, Feb. 29, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.