School displays timeline of black historyPublished 11:10am Thursday, February 20, 2014
BURLINGTON — As you walk through the doors of Burlington Elementary School, you’ll notice a display to your right.
While the display is small, the timeline it represents is one of major significance, especially in a community such as Burlington.
“I have it set up like a timeline that starts with a replica of the Emancipation Proclamation,” said Harriette Ramsey, the school’s librarian. “It of course ends with the Obama family and the ushering in of our first African-American president.”
The display is in honor of Black History Month, which runs throughout February each year.
Burlington has its own rich history, which includes Ohio’s first African-American church, founded in 1807.
The display is the result of a combined effort between Ramsey and Susanne Howard.
“We had been discussing doing something like this for a while,” Ramsey said. “I talked to my principal about this idea Sue and I had. We got the green light so we put it together. All the items here belong to Sue, and we tried to tie it into what the kids were learning in class.”
To help tie the display and the classroom together Ramsey printed off and handed out a three-page pamphlet detailing the significance of the items on display.
“I put it (the pamphlet) in the mail box of every teacher,” Ramsey said. “The students have been inquisitive about the display. They’ve asked questions and we’ve tried to tie it into the core things the students learn.”
Principal Mylissa Bentley said Ramsey’s efforts go above and beyond her call of duty as librarian.
“We appreciate everything she does,” Bentley said. “She is constantly doing things like this that just elevate and add to our students’ learning experience.”
Ramsey, however, said she is just trying to help educate students and that one day she hopes there will no longer be a need for Black History Month.
“One day we’ll no longer need this month,” Ramsey said. “One day it will just become a more incorporated part of American history. But, it’s up to us. It’s a part of all of our histories and it’s important to know where you come from. If you don’t, you can never move forward.”