Local charter school takes black history outside the classroom

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) King Center Charter school has spent this school year showing students the Western New York connections to the Underground Railroad. Tuesday they were able to visit some of those spots first hand.

8th grade student Jaylen Mcennis is wise beyond his years. “I’m walking on history,” he said.  “I mean that’s what we do everyday in Buffalo.” 

Among this year’s curriculum at KCCS, he and his classmates we’re taught about the people and places locally that held significance in the freedom movement. In fact, Buffalo was a major stop for freedom seekers. 

“It’s critical for them to learn and know that that came right through Western New York,” said Yvonne Evans of Buffalo Chapter of the Links.  

Tuesday students got to physically visit historic places they’ve spent months learning about.  

“This is a hands on activity and I think it’s just so great i really do,” said Joyce Ford Quick from Buffalo Chapter of the Links. 

Students loaded on the bus and headed off to Michigan Street Baptist Church, one of the stops on the Underground Railroad.

When they arrived they were greeted by a woman portraying Harriet Tubman. 

Students then visited the Underground Railroad Heritage center, in Niagara Falls.

The field trip was a moving experience for both students and teachers alike. 

“I’ve taught for many years but I was still learning,” said history teacher, Tsitsi Mulligan. “I was in as much awe as the students were.” 

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