DeBerry Elementary School prepares building with visual presentations for Black History Month

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts paid tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, on this Martin Luther King Day.

Since Mattie Jenkins joined the Deberry school staff in 1993, she’s prepared each of the Black History Month visual presentations in the classrooms and in the hallways. Now, she’s selecting from her vast museum of memorabilia for this February’s month long visual observance.

“I think I save these items from memory. so the young people can see how history, how their parents struggled, what they went through to get us where we are today,” said Jenkins.

The DeBerry school is rich in black history. Founded in 1950, the elementary school is named in honor of Springfield native, Reverend William DeBerry.

Mattie Jenkins carefully crafts her 2018 Black History Month lessons, that range from celebrating the leaders who’ve visited the DeBerry school, in Springfield’s Old Hill neighborhood to historical figures and civil rights events so they can live on in the memories of the students.

“I feel good that we preserve all this history, because I think that every child every parent that we came through these many years where we are today,” said Jenkins.

Matti Jenkins will make certain the children learn of the accomplishments of historic figures, along with the ongoing achievements of contemporary role models from Springfield such as retired Massachusetts justice Roderick Ireland, for whom the Hampden County Hall of Justice was recently named, and Raymond Jordan who rose to become a federal assistant housing secretary.

Principal Elizabeth Fazio told 22News, “I am honored to have Mattie Jenkins, our parent facilitator really bringing all the black history to life for the students at Deberry during the month of February and beyond.”

Because Mattie Jenkins has curated Black History Month material for the ages, to be appreciated by all every day of the year.

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