TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Leon County Schools is honoring the history of Florida's Emancipation Day on May 20 with enhanced curriculum and programs throughout the district.
“It is vitally important for our students to learn and understand our shared history,” said Superintendent Rocky Hanna. “As a former American history teacher, it gives me great pride to support this initiative in honor of this historic event.”
LCS is one of only 11 school districts recognized as an African-American History Exemplar District. This pilot program continues to build on LCS’ commitment to infuse African-American history into the curriculum throughout the school year and across many different subject areas.
“This project is important because this generation needs to be informed about the history of Emancipation and Reconstruction so they can realize that if the same energy it took back then is replicated in current times, then we can see the humanity in one another, so that we may do our own part to be able to right the wrongs of racism and the past, and build a community moving forward with good and purposeful intention,” said School Board Vice-Chair Darryl Jones.
Amid growing confusion over the accurate date of emancipation in the State of Florida, May 20 or Juneteenth, LCS began a pilot program to enhance the curriculum with interactive materials to educate students.
LCS staff consulted community leaders, including Althemese Barnes and Cheryl Collier–Brown, with expertise in African American history and civil rights to ensure that educators are teaching students to better understand the significance of emancipation and the results of it.
“The more that we learn our history, the better we know who we are, and the better we are as human beings,” said Mutaqee Akbar, President of the Leon County NAACP.
Teachers have been provided grade-appropriate lessons and curriculum to deliver on May 20 and beyond.