A large group of local students from various grades shared the accomplishments of heroic African American idols on Thursday evening at the Lighthouse Foundation's Black History Program.

Approximately 120 people attended the event, where speeches were made and rejoicing songs were sung by the kids singing group. At least 60 kids from grades first through sixth created posters of historical black heroes. Each grade had one person to present their poster to the crowd. Prayer and scripture also took place at the event.

One man said he believes the program empowered the youth.

"The goal here was to plant seeds of encouragement in the minds of the students so they can accomplish great things in the future. So many times our kids are stuck and by looking back in the past, we want them to be aware that they can be anything they want to be," said Gary Caveness, director of the Lighthouse Foundation.

"We need the children to be more aware of the black Americans who played a major role in shaping our history. By conducting research, they can see the sacrifices they made for all of us," said Albertine "Peaches" Lowe Warren, a retired teacher for the Corinth School District.

During the program the students learned about how so many black Americans contributed to society, said Warren.

"So many of the kids were surprised while participating in this project. Several were unaware about some of the black inventors. It amazed them to the point they began to see several of the people they researched as role models," said Warren, who currently serves as the director of curriculum at the Lighthouse Foundation.

The event was a great turnout. Many parents came and showed their support during the program.

According to Caveness, the black history program is held every February and its purpose is to honor the past accomplishments of the men and women before us.

"In the time we live in, there are some who point at our youth with negative stereotypes. We want people to know we have some amazing youth here and some of them are going to change the world," said the minister of Freedom Fellowship.

The Lighthouse Foundation has been around since 1995. Its mission is to educate, love, nurture and build character within young individuals, said Warren.

"We want these kids to grow up and be successful and we hope when they look back at these black historical figures it will give them the proper mindset to reach their highest potential," said Warren, who also served as an assistant principal.

Staff Writer

Gabby Boyd is a native of Iuka and a graduate of the University of Souther Mississippi where she majored in broadcast journalism. She is a staff writer for the Daily Corinthian and an published fantasy fiction author.

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