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a group of smiling people holds a giant cardboard key in a green painted classroom

Congratulations are in order for Mr. Kevin Hogan! Last week, Mr. Hogan was randomly chosen to win a free two-year lease at Two Light Luxury Apartments as a part of the Kansas City Power & Light District partnership with KCPSEF.

a graphic design of a school hallway. people are getting healthcare.

With cold and flu season upon us, KCPS has many resources for keeping your family healthy this fall. Remember, if your child is ill, please do not send them to school.

At WWI Museum, KCPS Fifth Graders Interact with History

Six young students stand in front of a museum display. They are smiling.

Fifth graders in Kimberly Jolley's class stand in front of a glass ballot box during a field trip to the National World War I Museum and Memorial on Monday, June 13, 2022.

Zulmy Rodriguez Franco had questions about the glass globe in the exhibit, so she did what any curious fifth grader would do: She asked the museum volunteer in the blue shirt.

“Guys,” she whispered urgently to her classmates. “It’s for voting. They put their votes in it.”

The fifth graders from Hale Cook crowded around the ballot box, part of the “Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow” exhibit on display now at the National World War I Museum and Memorial. The field trip is part of the fifth grade Summer Academy curriculum, “KCPS Scholars Matter,” in which students learn about history and identity.

The exhibit at the WWI Museum focuses on the struggle for civil rights during Reconstruction. Racially restrictive laws kept Black Americans who’d fought bravely for the Union during the Civil War from participating in civic life.

A young Black boy with dreadlocks is reading a museum display. He looks very absorbed.

Fifth grader Leandre Anderson takes notes during a field trip to the National World War I Museum and Memorial on Monday, June 13, 2022.

Students learned how these restrictions came to be known as “Jim Crow” laws after caricatures of Black Americans in minstrel shows.

“Somebody dressed up as a Black man named Jim Crow, and people made fun of it,” fifth grader Niles Youngblood Muller said.

Students also learned that Black Americans who challenged segregation were intimidated, threatened and often killed by white supremacist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan. After viewing the exhibit, they talked about how the experience made them feel with each other and their teacher, Kimberly Jolley.

A woman in pink pants sits outside with a group of students. They are talking intently.

Kimberly Jolley talks to her fifth grade students about what they experienced during a field trip to the National World War I Museum and Memorial on Monday, June 13, 2022. Ms. Jolley normally teaches at Troost Elementary but is at Hale Cook for Summer Academy.

Through field trips to museums and other cultural institutions, KCPS students are learning to interact with history in their community. We believe these experiences are an important part of culturally-responsive teaching, and we are proud to offer them during Summer Academy and throughout the school year.

This week, our students also learned about Juneteenth, a federal holiday that commemorates when enslaved people in Texas learned about the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1865, nearly two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed it. KCPS schools and offices will be closed on Monday, June 20, in observation of Juneteenth.