Former NFL player to headline U-46 Black History Month program
Elgin Area School District U-46 schools will mark Black History Month with a series of classroom activities and after-school events kicking off this week.
Among the highlights is a talk by motivational speaker, former NFL linebacker and former teacher Robert Jackson on Feb. 19 at Larkin High School in Elgin.
Jackson will speak to U-46 families about how students can succeed inside and outside the classroom. The event titled "Nia (Purpose): A Toolkit for Living Your Best Life" starts at 6:30 p.m. at the school, 1475 Larkin Ave.
Jackson teaches on topics of cultural diversity, restorative practices, socio-emotional learning and how to retain troubled students in school. He urges parents to play a more active role in their children's education and works with students to overcome hardships through discipline and accountability.
During the program, district officials will recognize 13 black students from U-46's five high schools who have earned a cumulative grade-point average of 3.4 or higher as of last semester.
"Ambition, passion and ingenuity are inextricably part of our identity as black people," said April Wells, U-46 coordinator of gifted education. "We endeavor to uplift the spirits of the scholars we serve by giving them a mirror through which to see their authentic identities."
Black History Month events include:
• Friday -- "Hidden Figures" movie screening, during lunch, Streamwood High School auditorium, 701 W. Schaumburg Road
• Saturday -- Black History Club Alumni Legends Brunch, 10 a.m., Larkin High School Black Box Theater, 1475 Larkin Ave., Elgin
• Feb. 19 -- Larkin High School Black History Club Open Mic Night, 6:30 p.m., Studio 270, Gail Borden Library, 270 N. Grove, Elgin
• Feb. 21 -- African-American drums and storytelling, 8:30 a.m., Heritage Elementary School, 507 Arnold Ave., Streamwood
• Feb. 22 -- Larkin High School Black History Club Teen Leadership Conference, 9 a.m., Studio 270, Gail Borden Library, 270 N. Grove, Elgin
• Feb. 26 -- Black History Club screening of "The Hate U Give," 8 a.m., Larkin High School Auditorium, 1475 Larkin Ave., Elgin
• Feb. 27 -- African-American Student Union program, periods 2 and 3, Streamwood High School Auditorium, 701 W. Schaumburg Road
• Feb. 27 -- Minority Alliance Coalition Banquet with original works of poetry and music through Guide Right and the Diamond Foundation, 7 p.m., Bartlett High School, 701 W. Schick Road. The school's library will host seminars and workshops showcasing the civil rights movement throughout the month.
• Feb. 28 -- Black History Club "Tunnel of Oppression" interactive theater experience, during school day, Larkin High School Black Box Theater, 1475 Larkin Ave., Elgin. Students will participate in a scene depicting the civil rights era during segregation and will walk through a museum of student-led research to learn about black history.