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by Jesse Turner Special to The Commercial | October 25, 2022 at 4:21 a.m.

U.S. past retold

Editor, The Commercial:

The Arkansas Department of Education has informed us that they are taking a look at the Woodson Center 1776 Curriculum being deployed in our mentoring classes.

Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration Inc. (PBICVR) is Arkansas' Community Affiliate Network (CAN) member with the Woodson Center. We are excited to receive news from the Arkansas Department of Education that their curriculum team is now reviewing the 1776 Unites Curriculum.

In Pine Bluff, where we have a large population of Black scholars, 1776 has been a game changer in our mentoring program for teaching Black history. Every February during Black History Month, scholars hear about Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, etc., while Bridget "Biddy" Mason, Elijah McCoy and many other African Americans remain in the shadows.

However, the 1776 Unites Curriculum has given scholars an opportunity to gain additional knowledge about contributions made by lesser-known Black Americans to their communities and nation. 1776 Unites Curriculum is accurate, truthful, celebratory and aspirational for all students, as well as a powerful teaching tool for learning about Black history.

In 2021, a report from the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University gave 1776 Unites Curriculum high marks. The report indicated that 1776 represents a wide range of thought-provoking materials and perspectives, from which students can draw knowledge. Plus, the 1776 course grants students enough room to analyze the content taught, to come to their own conclusions and to debate and discuss these conclusions with one another.

Ultimately, they become critical thinkers, which is a goal of PBICVR for all of their mentees. As Arkansas' CAN member we are proud to introduce the 1776 Unites Curriculum to our city and state.

Details: .

The Johns Hopkins University School of Education Report: .

Rev. Jesse C. Turner, executive director,

Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration Inc.

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