Making a miniseries

Black History Month is being celebrated at Paw Creek Elementary with a video miniseries, Taking the Stairs, about significant people and places in the Charlotte area.

A'Rynn Valcin, the school's STEM facilitator, produces the videos, which air each week in February. They are typically four minutes long and feature student hosts, who introduce and end each episode from their base in the school stairwell.

"Taking the Stairs is an effort to celebrate Black History Month by capturing the uniqueness and diversity in our school community while educating and exposing our students to history and the stories found in the Charlotte area," Valcin said.

1.USE.240.jpgValcin said Black History Month is about inclusion, especially underrepresented cultures. The videos highlight school events, as well as interesting places and activities. Episodes have featured Paw Creek's Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and International Night, as well as the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Concord and West African dance classes. Student hosts have included students from different grades, including Alysha Tyrell, T.J. Rogers, Dereck Flores Lemus, Michelle Mazariegos Gonzalez, Jhalil Edwards and Jordan Johnson.

"It's fun – it's kind of like being on TV," said Jhalil, a third-grader.

The third episode took a different turn, with a breaking news segment with Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles. Special reporter Balinda Randolph, a fifth-grader, wrote the questions and conducted the interview.

"It's become something bigger than I expected," Valcin said. To see the miniseries, click here.

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