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Assistant principal brings Black History Month to life

Kimberly Ellis says she wants her students to be interested in the black figures she dresses up as
Black History Month assistant principal.jpg
Posted at 7:36 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 15:37:16-05

CORPUS CHRISTI — Kimberly Ellis, the assistant principal at Faye Webb Elementary School in Corpus Christi is taking a bit of a unique approach to help her students learn about Black History Month. She’s dressing up as black figures and playing a trivia game with her students, giving her students clues during the video-streamed morning announcements and having them guess who she is.

“I have won 21 grand slams,” Ellis said, giving her students a clue.

Do you know who that is? That’s Serena Williams, who Ellis dressed up as.

She gives her students three clues and the first 20 students to answer correctly get a Black History Month-themed prize like a bookmark or hat.

“I really wanted to step it up a notch this year and really bring this educational opportunity to the forefront with this trivia,” Ellis said.

Ellis tries to choose relatable and current Black figures, like Joan Higgenbotham, the third black woman to travel to space and said figures like Higgenbotham continue to break down barriers. She said she wants her students to be interested about them.

Students seem to be very receptive and positive towards the experience, with some saying it’s a unique approach that Ellis takes.

“It just kind of brings everything to life because like instead of her just reading about it…she actually gives us a clue,,“ McKenzie Fedler, a fourth grade student said.

Sarita Owiredu is also in the fourth grade and said Ellis is always learning new and fun things to teach her and her peers.

“It helps when she dresses up and it makes it more fun instead of just listing facts, which is boring,” Owiredu said.

Along the walls lies Black History Month artwork like a collage of Black figures and students, which Ellis said could help students imagine themselves as influential figures.

“Black History Month is American history and although we celebrate it this one month out of the year….Black History Month is reflective in our learning environment year-round,” Ellis said.

Ellis said she meets with teachers regularly to see how they can implement diverse and cultural teachings. As a part of that the school also celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, Chinese New Year, Native American Heritage Month, and dedicates a week to the deaf and hard of hearing.