District 86 Schools Host African American Wax Museums


As part of Black History Month, students at T.E. Culbertson Elementary, A.O. Marshall Elementary School, and Washington Junior High School hosted live wax museums, focusing on famous African Americans, at their schools.  Fourth grade students from Culbertson, fifth grade students from A.O. Marshall and middle school students from Washington each selected a well-known African American man or woman to portray at the event. In preparation of the events, the students researched, created a display, and wrote a narrative about their notable person. The students even dressed up like the person at the events.

The famous African Americans, past and present, came to life when classmates, parents, and families stopped at the displays.  Selected people included Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Bennett, George Washington Carver, Sylvia Del Villard, Ella Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes, Michael Jordan, Barack Obama, Rosa Parks, Charlotte Ray, and Dorothy Vaughan. Culbertson also created an underground railroad for guests to walk through and students at Marshall performed an African dance.

The living wax museums were organized by Culbertson teachers Elizabeth Karstensen and Traci Phillips, Marshall teachers Heather DeMarco, Vanessa McNeff, and Maida Sauseda, and Washington academic advisor Lisa Manuel and school secretary Tiaerra Kimbrough.

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