CPS’ Skinner North integrates Asian American history into curriculum in interactive ways

TEAACH Act, which requires Asian American history be taught in K-12 schools, takes effect across Illinois this fall

By , ABC7 Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) — It’s been almost a year since Governor JB Pritzker signed the Teach Equitable Asian American Community History Act, known as the TEAACH Act, requiring that Asian American history be taught in public schools.

It goes into effect this fall, but one CPS school has already started making sure Asian American history and culture are taught and celebrated in the classroom.

At Skinner North Classical School, Asian American history isn’t just for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. They believe it should be center stage throughout the school year.

“Everybody should be represented, because it’s history,” 4th grade teacher Abbey Castillo said. “And it’s not accurate if we’re leaving out stories.”

The Near North Side CPS school is integrating Asian American history and culture into the curriculum in interactive ways. Fourth grader Matthew Escuadro has been taking it all in.

“It makes me feel pretty happy just to learn about what things were like back then and what people did, and how people of my culture did what they did,” Escuadro said.

Skinner North recently partnered with CIRCA-Pintig to act out stories of Filipino Americans on stage.

“I remember when we were getting started in one of the classrooms, you know, we said, ‘Okay, it’s time for reading now,'” CIRCA-Pintig Executive Director Ginger Leopoldo said. “And the kids are like, ‘Oh, reading, oh,’… ‘But you’re going to be acting, you’re going to be acting the stories.’ And then there was like this big cheer.”

Their approach could be a model for schools across the state. The TEAACH Act was signed into law last summer requiring Asian American history be taught in k-12 schools. It goes into effect next school year.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice has been preparing resources for schools to use in the classroom.

Read the full article on AB7Chicago 


Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago builds power through collective advocacy and organizing to achieve racial equity. Learn more at www.advancingjustice-chicago.org.