WINSLOW, Ariz. — The Winslow branch of the NAACP is celebrating Black History Month by putting on events throughout the month for the community of Winslow.
Starting Feb. 1, the Winslow Public Library will hold the kick-off event with story time, featuring books focused on African American authors or with African American children and adults, for younger kids and the library will hold a family reading night.
“We want families to come out and read with their children,” said Nicole Lawrence, one of the organizers of the event. “It is a way for families to get together.”
On Feb. 12, an afternoon of performing arts will take place at the high school at 3 p.m.
“It’s an opportunity for families to come out and be engaged in the performing arts,” Lawrence said. “We will have students and adults who are performing, a mixture of different groups of people who are coming out to celebrate the family.”
There will also be poetry by black authors on that night.
On Feb. 15, there will be another story time, this time for older children, along with family reading night at the library from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Feb. 18 is the final event for the month, which is a stroll through black history and is a one-day event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lawrence hopes the exhibits will be set up at a local school, though final plans are still under discussion for where the museum exhibit will be.
“It is a way for us to create a museum experience for people in this region who may not ever otherwise get to be a part of a black history museum,” Lawrence said. “We invite the whole community to come out and support it.”
Staring now until Feb. 15, there is an art contest for kids kindergarten through fifth grade. There is a poetry contest for sixth through eighth grade and an essay contest for those in ninth through 12th grade.
“They will be writing and drawing about a theme focused on African American history or the impact of African Americans today and in the future,” Lawrence said.
Application will be dropped off at the schools and library. On Feb. 18, the winners for the essay and poetry contest will be announced — with the winners reading their submissions. People will have the opportunity to vote on the art winner as they walk through the museum.
“What we hope is that we will have enough entries that we can put together a little book of all of the submissions,” Lawrence said. “So it becomes a part of our history of this region, a history of Winslow.”
That is one reason, Lawrence and others are trying to put the events together — as a way for residents to get engaged and for children to learn, not just African American children but all children to learn about a culture they might not ordinarily learn about.
“It is just to increase people’s knowledge of how African Americans have contributed to America and the value that we have in the society, in Winslow and in northern Arizona,” Lawrence said.
She said that she hopes to see as many families as possible come out for the events, especially for the museum event, where there will be a hands on area for kids to be engaged.
“We’re designing it, so it can touch the senses of the adults and the children and everyone in between, so everyone can experience it in a different way,” Lawrence said. “We want to create it in a way where kids can feel history and can learn about the history.”
More information can be found on the Winslow branch of the NAACP Facebook page at: NAACP of Winslow.