African-Centered Curriculum Program (ACC)
"Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history."
- Carter G. Woodson
Offered exclusively to Kindergarten-Grade 5 students at Oakton Elementary School
History of the ACC Program
During the 2006-2007 school year, the African-Centered Curriculum (ACC) Program was initiated at Oakton Elementary School. It began with classes for K-2 grade students. Each year, a grade was added, and beginning in the 2009-2010 school year, the program expanded and was offered to K-5 grade students.
ACC is the result of research and dialogue between parents, community members, administrators, and teachers, around culturally specific instruction. Students need to see themselves in the curriculum in meaningful and substantive ways (Tatum 2006). Students participating in such programs demonstrate improved academic success and enhanced self-confidence. Consequently, Evanston-Skokie School District 65 embarked upon a bold plan to address the needs of underperforming learners.
The ACC program model may benefit a wide variety of students that require a more nurturing schooling experience than traditional approaches, however, it is specifically designed to support the academic development and achievement of students throughout the African Diaspora.
ACC Program Philosophy
The African-Centered Curriculum is framed by an African-Centered pedagogical theoretical framework, particularly as described by Peter Murrell (2002). The approach aims to build self-esteem, self-discipline, self-determination, and independence within each student. At the same time, the program fosters reciprocal student commitments to learn collaboratively and to serve their community. The model nurtures students self identity as learners actively engaged in multiple communities by implementing five essential practices for teaching and learning that are centered around and contextualized in African-American cultural heritage (Murrell 2002).
The ACC Curriculum
Highly qualified teachers adapt the district curriculum through the five essential practices to:
- Build an African-American cultural and intellectual community in the classroom, and a community of practice among adults who support learning in both the classroom and the school (Murrell 2002).
- Develop tasks and series of activities that are intellectually stimulating, culturally significant, and scholastically valuable.
- Empower students with a resilient disposition for learning, a trajectory of academic excellence, and a cultural competence to positively interact with others.
- Students participate in a daily "Morning Routine" designed to build community and introduce culturally significant content and aspirations.
Benefits of the ACC Program
- Experience an African-Centered Curriculum in a cohesive school environment.
- Enjoy the support of caring staff.
- Build a sense of responsibility for excellence in academics and character.
- Enjoy strong parent and family support of student learning.
- Access a parent liaison/advocate to support families and promote parent involvement.
- Conduct and attend special enrichment events for students and families related to the African-Centered Curriculum.
For more information about the ACC application process, please call (847)-859-8065 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.