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At my school we started a similar Black History Month program for our 5th.
grade students last year, part of a study unit which the 5th grade teachers
and I plan to repeat annually.  We call the February unit "Positive Role
Models for Youth."  It incorporates discussion of the meaning and importance
of role models for young people, research of African American role model
figures throughout history, oral presentations of the students' research, a
lesson on preparing appropriate questions in anticipation of a speaker forum
/ panel discussion, along with instruction regarding listening skills and
appropriate behavior/manners in such a setting.  The unit ends with our
speaker forum, which will take place this year on February 23.  Speakers
include a prominent educator, our city's Mayor Pro Tem /City Council member,
the head basketball coach of one of our state universities and a high ranking
officer from the police department.  They will each discuss  the influence of
role models in their young lives, along with their current status as adult
"Positive Role Models for Youth."
We are most enthusiastic about this unit and are thrilled with the
willingness of busy local professionals to play a part in the education and
well-being of our students.
This unit is truly Media Center driven: I conduct all the classes in the
Media Center.  Research is carried on both in and outside school.  Planning
with the 5th grade teachers is a joy because of our mutual goals and the
contagious enthusiasm that results.
I appreciate everyone's indulgence of this rather lengthy message -
obviously, I am particularly excited since we are currently in the midst of
the study.  Oral presentations conclude tomorrow.

Sheryl Kaplan, Library Media Specialist
Peck Elementary School
1601 W. Florida St.
Greensboro, NC  27403

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