Empowering Education: Lisha Kill Staff Member Shines Light On Black History Month

Picture of a poster hanging in the Lisha Kill hallway with informaton about Guyana on it. The information included are things like population numbers, location, boardering countries, etc.
Guyana Informational Poster.

Jackie McAlmont, a support staff member at Lisha Kill Middle School with two decades of service to the district, has once again undertaken her mission to make a difference, empowering students to learn and celebrate Black culture. For several years now, McAlmont has spearheaded a tradition of raising funds and collecting supplies for Hopetown Primary School in Guyana, a commitment she embraced after witnessing the school’s pressing need during a visit in 2019.

The conception of this initiative lies in McAlmont’s unwavering belief in the power of representation and inclusivity. Reflecting on her experiences, she recalls a specific moment during the 2019 school year when she encountered racist remarks directed at her choice of attire—a shirt proudly celebrating her identity as a Black woman. Determined to foster a culture of acceptance and pride, McAlmont resolved to wear the shirt every Friday, sparking conversations and solidarity among her peers.

Inspired by the idea of using clothing as a catalyst for change, McAlmont collaborated with fellow educators to design and distribute t-shirts commemorating Black History Month. These shirts serve as a tangible means of support for students and symbol of unity for the Lisha Kill community, affirming to students their ability to come together to make a difference.

Sign reading "Celebrate Black History" sits on top of a book case, on the side of the book case there is a tshirt hanging that reads "Black History is American History" with a pink pricing sheet situated between the two.
Black History Month T-Shirt.

In addition to t-shirt sales, McAlmont and her colleagues have organized various fundraisers, over the years, to finance essential supplies that support Hopetown Primary School. Proceeds from these sales will go towards supplies such as school uniforms and backpacks, as well as other materials needed for a successful learning environment. Every contribution directly impacts the lives of Hopetown Primary students, ensuring they have the necessary resources  needed to thrive academically.

McAlmont’s dedication extends beyond material support, encompassing a commitment to cultural celebration and education. Throughout Black History Month, Lisha Kill embraces themed days, such as “Represent Your Culture Day” and “Celebrate Your Hair Day,” fostering an environment where diversity is honored and celebrated.

Looking ahead, McAlmont remains steadfast in her vision for a more equitable future.“It is my dream to start a non-profit. Maybe one day we can plan a trip to Guyana and I can bring my Lisha Kill colleagues with me.” 

Three girls sit at a table in front of the main office that has a black table cloth on it. Two girls collect money and write down sales info while the third ties informational cards to the sticks of each lollypop.
Black History Month Lollypop Fundraiser.

As the month of February came to an end, the Lisha Kill community celebrated having raised over $400 for Hope Primary School. Through McAlmont’s unwavering dedication and the collective spirit of generosity at Lisha Kill, the tradition of giving back continues. McAlmont underscores the significance of nurturing dialogue and addressing issues of race and inequality, fostering understanding both in and out of the classroom.