KCMS students visit Great Blacks In Wax Museum

BALTIMORE — Last month, Kent County Middle School students in the Achieving Academic Excellence and Equity for Black Boys mentoring program visited the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum.

More than 30 students were joined on the Nov. 9 field trip by AAEEBB Program Coordinator Tyray Johnson and fellow middle school teachers and staff members Chanelle Copper, Desmond Hasty, Sara Moore and Delia Shoge.

Visitors learn about “the rich history of African Americans across the continents and time, from Ancient Africa, the Middle Passage and Slavery, through civil rights and today,” according to the museum’s website.

The KCMS students’ journey through time at the museum gave them an opportunity to learn about figures from ancient times like Hannibal to civil rights icon the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to present day leaders such as former President Barack Obama.

They were able to see visual representations of what it was like for freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad and they had the opportunity to tour a replica slave ship.

“Students got to experience the museum and learn about its African American history and culture,” Johnson said in a news release. “It was an all-around great day for our boys.”

The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum was the first of its kind when it opened its doors 40 years ago.

“Exposure to the Museum and its programs ensures that youth and adult patrons learn more about their American heritage and gain deeper insights into significant contributions to civilization by people of African descent,” the museum website states.

The AAEEBB program launched several years ago at Kent County Middle School and Kent County High School with funding and guidance from the Maryland State Department of Education.

The program seeks to improve the outlook for adolescent Black boys who, reports show, tend to face more frequent and stringent disciplinary actions than their peers.

Through the program, students receive mentoring, participate in group activities at school and go on field trips to museums and colleges — all with the goal of ensuring their success in school and in life, according to the news release.

Johnson came on board at the program’s launch as a mentor.

Last year, he was named the AAEEBB program coordinator for the middle school.

“The AAEEBB program gives our young men a place where they get to feel comfortable to build a bond amongst each other, to have a voice to feel heard and to connect with other like-minded individuals striving for academic excellence,” Johnson said in the news release.

Trish McGee, the owner and publisher of The Evening Enterprise, is an elected member of the Kent County Board of Education. She did not contribute to this news release.

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