Today's guest blogger Chris Kuncio is a Playworks Philadelphia Program Coordinator. He attended the University of Pittsburgh where he studied U.S. History and Political Science. He currently is enrolled in graduate school at St. Joseph's University to get his teaching certificate.
Black History Month has been implemented exceptionally well at Charles Henry in Mt. Airy. The focus has not only been on the culture and struggle for civil rights for African-Americans, but it has also been an excellent tool in educating the students about the benefit of peaceful protest. The students seemed to have learned a valuable lesson.
After a class game time with one of my second grade classes, I was walking the students back to class as another second grade class quietly walked out. The two class turned around and joined each other and all of the students started walking slowly toward me. They then started to sing a protest song from the Civil Rights Movement:
"Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around, turn me around, turn me around, ain't gonna let nobody turn me around, I'm gonna keep on walking and keep on talking and, marching to the freedom land."
However, in the second verse they substituted "nobody" with "Coach Chris". The students slowly circled around me and linked arms in the same way as the famous peaceful protests. Some held up signs saying, "We are responsible!," "We are up for the task! Let us be Junior Coaches!," and "Coach Chris, you need us!". As I was completely moved by what they did, I agreed to let them help and the kids erupted with cheers. Not only did they accomplish their goal, but they also learned a valuable lesson in the power that peaceful protests can have if everyone stands united as a team!