Sunday, February 02, 2014

Catie Ushers in Black History Month

Sundays at our house, as I'm sure is the case at lots of houses, is a marathon of homework and laundry and bathing and hair-combing and grading. And sometimes, into that mix, a teacher will throw a project.

Frances loves school and loves the chance to show off, so projects with her, while exhausting, are, at least, manageable.

Cate is in second grade now and doesn't at all enjoy the same relationship to school as Frances. She tolerates it, at best. Throw anxiety and sensory processing issues on top of all that, and you can imagine what school projects are like for all of us.

Today she had to complete her 100th day of school project. She had to pick a person or event or invention celebrating it's 100th anniversary this year. The crossword puzzle is 100. Sir Alec Guiness was born 100 years ago. As was Joel Siegel. Cate rejected all those ideas. When Wikipedia told her that Marcus Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Jamaica in 1914, she immediately decided this was her project. "I love black people, Mommy," she said.

She happily read all about Marcus Garvey and the U.N.I.A., listened to me clarify things and fill in the blanks. She was genuinely interested in all the details. (She was especially upset that arrest and deportation were Garvey's reward for trying to uplift black people.) When it came time to put all these details down in a 1-page summary and creative presentation, well, let's just say wailing and gnashing of teeth would have been preferable.

After hours of cajoling and bargaining and pleading and assisting, we managed to get her to prepare a powerpoint presentation and type up a summary of what she's learned.  Here is what she's turning in to her teacher tomorrow:

What I learned:

Marcus Garvey founded the UNIA in 1914, in Jamaica to help improve black people's lives. He was later arrested for mail fraud, and was sent back to Jamaica, where he recreated the UNIA, and they stumbled in the Americas. Later, at some point in 1940, he died, and I don’t know why. Age, or somebody straight up killed him, like Dr. King.


Alison Piepmeier said...

Whoa, that's some school project! She does some serious thinking!

Anonymous said...

You two are raising a genius. I love the "what I learned" section! Amazing.