Spring Lake Elementary Students Celebrate Black American Trailblazers

In Orange County, schools throughout the district celebrated Black History Month through movies, music, visual arts, dramatic interpretations, writing, reading and research.

In preparation for Black History Month, Spring Lake Elementary School chose the theme, “I did it first.” The Culture and Climate Committee created a list of Black Americans who were the first to accomplish something historic. 

From the traditional icons, like Thurgood Marshall, Jackie Robinson and Toni Morrison to more contemporary, like Vice President Kamala Harris and actor Jeremy Pope, a Timber Creek High School graduate, there were a wide range of prominent harbingers for students to explore. 

Not only did students create written or artistic work samples to showcase their comprehension of the subject, they also utilized technology to add interactive components to their displays. For example, kindergarten learned about Alma Thomas, an “Expressionist” artist and teacher. Then they created their own Thomas inspired works of art to display. Those alone were stunning, but that was not all. Scanning a QR code, students could see a video of another student making the art. 

Here’s an example of the kindergarten display board. One of the QR codes linked to this Alma Thomas inspired student artist.

Another class learned about Jacob Lawrence, a painter known for his “dynamic cubism,” and then created their Lawrence inspired masterpieces. A QR code linked to this video of a student painting.

As students systematically toured the school hallways, they not only saw student work samples. But they could hear Nat King Cole’s music, an interview with Julie Dash, audio of Jackie Robinson’s life, and so much more.

Download interview of Lupita B., fifth grade student, and Principal Patty Harrelson to hear them discuss the project.


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