New Black history requirements are due, some Delawareans want an update: Education roundup

It's graduation season.

Schools and districts alike are looking back on another completed year. It was a year of more growth for many. And, it was the first for new Black History requirements throughout Delaware public and charter schools. Some advocates hope to check on how it's going.

In this roundup we'll look to catch you up on some Delaware education news you may have missed.

Did we miss another good story? Tell me about it:

Are Delaware schools meeting new Black history requirements?

A student at Mount Pleasant High School highlights points in a reading assignment in an African American studies course.

A group focused on seeing the full implementation of one piece of Delaware legislation, in the classroom, is holding a meeting to see just how well that's going.

Let The Truth Be Told is hosting its last meeting before the next academic year on "Implementing HB198 Right." This virtual meeting will include school district leaders, community members, parents and even student groups.

This follow-up meeting in a series hosted by the group will run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., June 5, on Zoom.

Subscribers, go deeper: Are Delaware schools meeting new Black history requirements? Not yet. Here's why

The historic legislation dubbed House Bill 198, passed in 2021, requires all Delaware public schools — both district and charter — to infuse instruction of Black history and experience into K-12 curricula.

This year marked the implementation deadline, by law. Last semester offered the first full report from the Delaware Department of Education.

Each system has begun spelling out where they are now. But from community meetings to family inquiries, some Delawareans want to better understand where schools are now — and what measures are in place to test the water’s depth.

Georgetown elementary school creates literacy program for infants and toddlers — in Spanish

North Georgetown Elementary School has launched "Leemelo" — "Read it to me" — an infant and toddler literacy program in Spanish in spring 2023. Now the six-week afterschool program, designed for children younger than 4, will return next school year in Delaware's Indian River School District.

When North Georgetown Elementary School concluded its second nine-week “Leamos Juntos” — “Let’s Read Together” — program for Spanish-speaking students and their families this spring, the team began to think of another unique opportunity to offer the local Latino community.

Educators landed on something they didn't see available around them: an infant and toddler literacy program, in Spanish.

"Leemelo," or "Read it to me," hopes to expose children to literacy at an even younger age, for many in their first language. Designed for the smallest academics younger than 4, this six-week program meets every Wednesday after school.

The new program concluded this May — but its already eyed for next school year.

Nearly 75% of North Georgetown's student body is Latino.

North Georgetown Elementary School has launched "Leemelo" — "Read it to me" — an infant and toddler literacy program in Spanish in spring 2023. Now the six-week afterschool program, designed for children younger than 4, will return next school year in Delaware's Indian River School District.

“Having a strong foundation in their native language is hugely impactful on a child’s ability to learn a second language and become both bilingual and biliterate,” said Jennifer Nein, the school's multilingual learner coordinator.

"Leemelo" features family reading activities, games, interactive play, songs and crafts. And the school says the team of "highly motivated bilingual staff members" brings the program to life.

“We try to stress the importance to families of reading and interacting with the child at an early age," Principal Sarah Green said in a press release, "to develop the literacy skills that will be needed once the child starts school."

'HBCU Innovative Solutions Initiative' launching in DSU partnership

Graduating students pose for a photo during the Delaware State University 2023 commencement ceremony at Alumni Stadium in Dover, Friday, May 12, 2023.

The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit "dedicated to championing entrepreneurs, accelerating minority-owned businesses and launching bold ideas" — has just received $100,000 from Bank of America.

The grant will launch the foundation's "HBCU Innovative Solutions Initiative," according to a recent press release, expanding its existing "Reinventing Delaware" program.

It will officially launch during Delaware State University’s 13th annual HBCU Philanthropy Symposium, this summer.

"The HBCU Innovative Solutions Initiative will gather HBCUs' big thinkers and risk takers around a table to share, collaborate and innovate. In a world in which one very common complaint among Black Americans is, ‘We aren't invited to have a seat at the table,'" said Tony Allen, Delaware State University President and Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation Board Member, in a statement.

"The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation and Bank of America are responding by creating a whole new table."

The president is describing the initiative's design — similar to Reinventing Delaware — in inviting select guests to Delaware State's symposium to participate in a roundtable pitch competition.

These pitches should share ideas on innovative approaches to strengthen the HBCU community, according to the university, from a new business to an institutional program that "catalyzes systemic change."

The top 10 ideas will be presented to the entire symposium audience, later voting on a favorite for a cash prize and further development.

Anyone interested in attending can register online.

Delaware State also secured a four-year $750,000 research grant last month from the Department of Defense, offering significant support to ongoing singlet oxygen research.

Kelly Powers covers race, culture and equity for the USA TODAY Network's Northeast Region and Delaware Online, with a focus on education. Contact her at or (231) 622-2191, and follow her on Twitter @kpowers01.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY NETWORK: Are Delaware's new K-12 Black history standards met?