Feb. 10, 2023-- Debra Levinson of Ocean County Historical Society earned a grant through the New Jersey Historical Society Commission, through which students would lead discussions about New Jersey's civil rights history, with access to visual displays, local historians, and educational resources. The program was piloted last year at High School South, and this year, during Black History Month, the program is district-wide at all three high schools, as well as Central Regional High School in Bayville.
"It's important for students to know that civil rights history wasn't just something that existed in the deep South," said Levinson Wednesday during High School North's portion of the program, "but had an impact right here in New Jersey."
Cohorts of students were selected to spend periods 2 through 7 at High School South (Tuesday), North (Wednesday), and East (Thursday), standing in front of six-foot visual displays-- on loan from statewide museums-- and speaking to their peers about signature moments in the state's civil rights movement. From urban unrest in Newark, to Miss Black America in Atlantic City, to the origins of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Lawnside, NJ, and then some, students helped drive discussions with their classmates and peers.