The Opportunity Center (OC) celebrated Black History Month with a mural created by students in the Boys and Girls Club. Boys and Girls Club teachers, Mr. Isaiah and Mr. Carter had students create the mural with painted artwork and research projects about athletes, activists, artists, and entrepreneurs who are meaningful to the students.
Mr. Isaiah and Mr. Carter wanted to ensure students were able to celebrate people who are making history today. As educators, it was important for Mr. Isaiah and Mr. Carter to create a project that would be educational and authentic for students.
“When we made this mural it gave us a chance to carry on the legacy of everyone who we chose to celebrate,” said Sophomore student Chris W. “The Boys & Girls Club made us feel like they understood what’s going on in our world, especially with the loss of Kobe Bryant who was someone we really admired. Mr. Isaiah and Mr. Carter gave us the opportunity to celebrate who we wanted and didn’t judge the people we chose, all that mattered was that it was important to us.”
Junior Jelayza G. noted, “We chose these people because they are using their influence to break barriers in the world that entertainers typically aren’t expected to surpass, especially as black people. It’s important for us to show that black history is being made today and there are still plenty of positive role models for us to look up to.”
Down the hall, Mrs. Cardenas highlights Black History Month with a similar project–a rotating bulletin board. The bulletin board helps students continue their learning between classes with interesting individual, cultural or academic subjects. For the month of February, honorees include familiar names for students like Barack Obama and Thurgood Marshall. Cardenas also includes lesser-known figures like Claudette Colvin, Mae Jemison, and Mary McLeod Bethune.
“It is important for our students and students across all campuses to be able to identify important figures outside of those required by the TEKS,” stated Cardenas.
During the school year, the school celebrated National Hispanic Heritage Month (September to October), Native American Month (November), and African American History Month (November).