2 West Orange sisters mark every day of Black History Month with T-shirts

Posted: Updated:

With just a few more days of Black History Month left, two sisters in West Orange have been marking it every day with T-shirts, and the impact of their message is ringing through the school halls.

"It makes me proud of myself and it makes my class proud," says Marlee John, St. Cloud Elementary School fifth grader.

For every day of Black History Month, 10-year-old Marlee John and 5-year-old Avery John have been wearing a different shirt of an inspirational African American woman to the school.

The shirts were created by their mother.

"My mom gave me a few weeks to think of some names I would like to put on my shirts," says Marlee.

Marlee would also come in with index cards and share with kids at her table about the woman on her shirt. 

Thursday it was Ida B Wells. There was also Katherine Johnson. Her fifth-grade teacher decided to make it a daily presentation for the whole class. 

"Then it evolved where I would start looking up who's the person of the day?” says Karen Thompson, St. Cloud Elementary fifth-grade teacher. “Who do you have coming up this week Marlee, so I can start adding to my lessons?"

Fellow kindergarteners in Avery's class also had their interest piqued and her teacher also tied it in with a daily lesson.

"It was really just such a teachable moment,” says Tiffany China, St. Cloud Elementary kindergarten teacher. “I think it's really important to remember, these kids can continue to teach us in their schooling."

Other women that have been featured on their shirts include Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Misty Copeland and Oprah.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."