Garfield students celebrating Black History Month

Chicago Heights School District 170's Garfield School recently celebrated Black History Month with a program presented by language therapist and author Edith Armstrong, (aka) Mama Edie.

Mama Edie opened the bilingual program with a history of how the countries of Africa are all connected. She then went on to explain to the students how we all are connected as one people.

Mama Edie told of places to which she has traveled and stories about how she acquired specific artifacts, such as dolls, instruments, and several books.

Karen King, the district's Parent Academy Assistant, and school nurse Erica Johnson coordinated the program with the assistance of members of the Black History Committee at Garfield School.

"I enjoyed how Mama Edie kept the children's interest and engaged them during the interactive program," King said. "And her bilingual skills were essential to the program's success since our school has mostly Spanish speaking students," King said.

King went on to explain how she invited Mama Edie to participate in the Black History Month program.

"I've known Mama Edie for many years beginning with when I was with the Head Start," she stated. "It was great to reconnect with her, and we will keep in touch going forward."

Mama Edie has performed in Trinidad; Mexico; Ghana, West Africa; India; South Africa and more! She brings their love of varied and beautiful cultures through their performances. She performs for cultural arts festivals, schools, universities, places of worship, educational conferences, social service agencies and the business sector, and invites everyone to find the light within ourselves.

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.