Black History Month Celebration at Valley Christian Schools

Black History Month Celebration at Valley Christian Schools for Parents

By Dr. Steven J. McGriff, Director of Biblical Unity, Valley Christian Schools

As a Valley Christian Schools parent, you know it's essential to support your children at home with what they're learning at school.  

With the birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observed in January, followed by African American History Month celebrated in February, now is a perfect time to open the door to conversations about racial equality and civil rights. The annual celebration is also called Black History Month, where we remember and celebrate the mighty work of God in and through the lives of influential African Americans. From enslaved Christians and abolitionists through the Jim Crow era to civil rights figures, the believers featured in these articles served as leaders in the church and powerfully impacted society.

In our Christian school community, teachers and student groups may choose to explore the unique history, culture, arts, and food of African Americans in the context of their courses or through student-led campus activities. 

This month is our chance to celebrate the creative brilliance of the God who "made from one man every nation of mankind" (Acts 17:26), and the redemptive beauty of his Son, Jesus Christ, who, with his own blood, "ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9).

For me, the 28 days of February are an ideal time to build a foundation of learning that will help our children recognize and celebrate the achievements of African Americans (and all Americans) throughout the entire year. 

Whether or not your family has already had discussions about Black American history, consider going beyond what your children are learning in school. These books, resources, and movies below are a great way to continue that dialogue.

  • Ask your children what they are learning related to Black History Month
     
  • Buy a book by a Black author or illustrator and make it a part of your child's permanent collection. Books offer a fun and easy way to introduce your children to new cultures and to help them explore the experiences of people from different backgrounds.
     
  • When and if children ask questions about race, don't sweep differences under the rug. Give children simple, concrete explanations when they have questions. Select books that affirm a valued place for all children. Try to find books that will help prepare children for the complex world in which they live.
  • When and if children ask questions about race, don't sweep differences under the rug. Give children simple, concrete explanations when they have questions. Select books that affirm a valued place for all children. Try to find books that will help prepare children for the complex world in which they live.

  •  Read Black History Month: 20 Stories Christians Should Know. Meet the leaders, activists, ministers, and artists who changed the church and the world.

  • Explore the resources from Teaching Your Child About Black History by PBS Kids for Parents

  • Watch a movie! 6 Inspiring Black History Month Movies. Check out these inspiring movies that could spark important conversations with your kids.

If you would like more information about cultural awareness celebrations at Valley Christian Schools, contact Dr. Steven J. McGriff, Director of Biblical Unity (smcgriff@vcs.net).