News Local/State

Champaign Unit 4 Schools Celebrate National African-American Parent Involvement Day

Entrance to Champaign Central High School.

Entrance to Champaign Central High School. Landmarks Illinois

Champaign Unit 4 Schools have a list of activities planned in observance of the National African-American Parent Involvement Day on Monday.

Each school will host their own activities ranging from dinners and luncheons to talent show and musical performances.

NAAPID is observed by schools across the country every second Monday in February. Angela Ward, assistant superintendent of achievement and equity for Unit 4 schools, said the district has observed the event since the early 2000s. It’s one of many equity initiatives the districts has launched in the last two decades, she said.

Ward acknowledged that black communities across the country, including in Champaign, have a fraught history with school districts — largely due to under-resourced and segregated school systems.

Ward said the district also recognizes that black parents participate in the schooling of their children everyday. But she said this event is a way to make sure they know the school district welcomes them.

“It’s to call attention to the importance of that group of our community that has traditionally, historically been marginalized,” Ward said. “It’s to call attention to all of us to say let’s join them, let’s bring them in and recognize they’re here.”

Ward said it’s also important to be intentional about inviting in a community of parents who themselves may have had negative experiences in school. She said the involvement of parents of African-American children is an asset to the district.

“We recognize we are not as hyper-sensitive and attentive to make sure they know this is why we want you, so I think that’s why that day is reserved,” Ward said. “It’s not restricted — it’s reserved do an intentional lift to reach out.”

Ward said all are welcome to participate in the day’s events, but she said the day is specifically intended for black parents and parents of African-American children.

The day is made all the more powerful by the number of parents who show up, she said.

A list of NAAPID events scheduled for Monday, Feb. 11, 2019 (unless another date is specified):

Garden Hills Elementary

5:00 p.m. - Welcome from Admin/Parent CommU

5-5:30 p.m. - Dinner will be served in the cafeteria

5:35-6:00 p.m.- Breakout sessions for mindfulness, Magnet-themed activity, art therapy

Black History Month Celebration Assembly on Feb. 22 at 1:45-2:45 p.m.

Stratton Academy of the Arts

Parent Activities in February:

● NAAPID Parent Luncheon (2/11/19)

● Classroom Door and Hallway Decorating Contest (2/11/19)

● Black History Arts Assembly (on 2/28/19)

● Celebration of Black Culture integrated into curriculum throughout February

Edison Middle School

Parent Lunch & Student Showcase 12:00 p.m. - Lunch, Library

1:30 p.m. - Student Showcase + poster contest winners announced, Auditorium

Franklin STEAM Academy

Student Talent Show 1:30 - 2:50 p.m.

Celebrating Black History Through the Fine Arts: Schoolwide Talent Show, Gymnasium

Jefferson Middle School

Parent Lunch & Activities Activities include:

● Art Department poster contest displayed in the main hallway. Visitors can vote on the top 3 best posters; winners will be announced during the talent show.

● Talent show to showcase students and staff singing, dancing, jazz band, choir, dance, step team, piano, impressions, beatboxing and rapping.

● Luncheon for parents with food and presentation on interpreting MAP testing scores.

● Parent/student scavenger hunt

Centennial High School

Parent/Student Assembly & Lunch Assembly begins at 10 a.m. featuring performances by:

● Centennial Treble and Expressions Choir

● Student readings from Centennial’s Black Writers Read-In

● Centennial Black Culture Club Steppers

● Centennial Dance Team

● Keynote Speaker: Mrs. Tanisha King-Taylor

Central High School

Parent/Student Breakfast & Black History Program Breakfast begins at 8:20 a.m. in the Lower Library featuring an update on Central building renovations, student reflections, guest speaker Alissia Young and closing remarks by Jabali Maatuka.

The Black History Program begins at 9:40 a.m. in Decker Theatre.

Novak Academy

Parent Lunch & Activities Lunch will be held during 5th and 6th periods (11:30 a.m. - 12:53 p.m.).

The following activities will be held during 7th hour (12:56 p.m. - 1:28 p.m.):

Black Literature and Poetry Read-In, Dream Board: Social Justice, Table Talk: Race and Public Education