By Gurneet Pannu, Corps Member at Normandie Avenue Elementary
This past February, the Disney Team at Normandie Avenue Elementary School in South Los Angeles celebrated Black History Month in an innovative way. By initiating the Pipeline Project at Normandie Ave. Elementary, corps members were able to educate and engage students in issues affecting the black community.
Every Friday morning during the month of February, African American community leaders and professionals joined corps members in reading books that highlighted prominent African American figures and their contributions to social justice and equality. Community leaders and corps members interacted with a number of students, ranging in year from kindergarten to fifth grade.
After the readings, the groups facilitated discussions regarding the importance of education in advancing social change. By meeting role models that students can identify with and relate to, students not only learned about the struggles and history of the African American community, but were also able to directly see the importance of higher education and achieving their goals. Students participated in dialogue that addressed racial tensions in the community, access to opportunities, economic inequality, and the social changes they aspire to see on their campus and community.
By emphasizing the importance of college for students as early as kindergarten, we are able to promote a culture that values education and create a pipeline to college for the South Los Angeles community.
Please join us on Thursday, Feb. 27th where Dr. Tyrone Howard and Eric Lambkins II will lead a discussion on the importance of education, leadership, confidence, and behavior at Normandie Avenue Elementary at 8:00 a.m.
The final Pipeline Project reading will be this Friday, Feb. 28th at 8:00 a.m.
Readings at Normandie Avenue Elementary School
The Pipeline Project is a new initiative and is organized by Ashli J. Logan, City Year LA’s
Development Operations Manager.