By Karen Marroquin
Signal Staff Writer
Children circled around and played their drums Friday at Santa Clarita Valley International Charter School. But they weren’t playing for leisure — these students were celebrating Black History Month.
Throughout the month of February, people from around the country honor the accomplishments of African Americans throughout U.S. history. At SCVi, two parents organized an event for second- and third-graders to educate them about Black History Month.
At the event, the SCVi learners joyfully brought out their inner artists as they drummed and sang along to a song called “Black Lives Matter,” playing drums loaned to SCVi by REMO, a Valencia-based drum manufacturer.
According to Lindsey Kahn, one of the organizers of the event, the drums were there to allow the children to celebrate through music and “feel in community.”
But that wasn’t the only part of the event.
The children also had a book read to them by Tawanna Aimiuwu, co-chair of the education committee at the Santa Clarita chapter of the NAACP. Aimiuwu read “Change Sings,” a lyrical picture book that seeks to remind everyone that change is good and necessary.
Aimiuwu explained what her goal was at the event.
“We wanted to impart a message regarding empathy to the students. Particularly at this age, we want them to begin to understand the idea of caring for other people whether or not they look like you, whether or not they believe like you.”
A part of the book talked about respecting, helping and loving one another. Lindsey Kahn, an organizer of the event, reinforced this statement, saying, “Children need to hear ‘I love you,’ right? Well, they also need to hear, ‘I love YOU.’”
Meanwhile, Mahesha Anderson, another organizer, said that learning about diversity and inclusion in events like these is “just as important as learning your ABC’s.”
While it may have been an hour of fun, for learners like third grader Trulee Lopez, it was also a time of reflection. “It just felt special to me because some people in my family are African American.”