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Ackerman Students Discuss Juneteenth in Summer Podcast

June 16, 2022 - In Georginna Thornhill’s class,Ackerman students discuss Juneteenth in summer podcast. summer school 2022 is all about exploring life through thought and touch. 

“We will be doing a lot of hands-on activities; cooking classes, weaving, and game shows,” said Thornhill. “The podcast, which is my favorite, shows students how to communicate properly, elaborate, and stick to the same topic. I would like my students to be more expressive and have healthy verbal conversations with each other.”

Thornhill teaches middle school students at Ackerman School and she has fully embraced incorporating a weekly podcast into her teachings. The goal is for students to practice articulating their thoughts about topics that they find meaningful. The first episode was held in June and focused on Juneteenth. 

“June is when some of the slaves were set free in the state of Texas,” said Thornhill. “Students need to know what took place and what their ancestors did to establish freedom on paper.” 

During the show, students talked about the history of the federal holiday and what it means to them. 

“Juneteenth is about everybody coming together,” said 7th grade student De’von Hollis. “We should be focusing on getting along, talking about ways to change the world, make it better, and make a difference.” 

Students from three other classes partook in the conversation. Hollis and 8th-grade student Jonah Jones say having other students involved made it an even better learning opportunity. 

“I learned a lot,” said Jones. “I learned that it’s one of the most celebrated holidays that recognizes African American history.”

Eighth-grade student Richard Thomas plans to celebrate Juneteenth by wearing the flag colors, hanging out with friends, and barbecuing. To teacher Larry Meeks, the holiday represents freedom and how powerful people are when they come together. 

A topic that students will discuss in the near future is identity and what it means to be yourself. Hollis believes that education and knowledge can change the path of one’s life and is eager to support her students as they continue to share their voices.