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Students in school on Saturdays

CHAMPAIGN -- Instead of playing video games or watching TV, some parents are taking their kids to school on the weekend.
CHAMPAIGN -- Instead of playing video games or watching TV, some parents are taking their kids to school on the weekend. These kids aren't learning your typical history lessons. WCIA-3 Anthony Antoine has more.

Dr. Amira Davis says, "A lot of times we relegate Black History to just February."

For her there's more to African-American history than one month could ever capture. That's why she single-handedly wrote grant proposals, and launched a 12 week pilot program to teach minority students about Black History on Saturdays.

"It's a very viable alternative to assisting kids to get a grasp of their culture, their history outside of mainstream schools. It also helps to build literacy skills, so they read and they think critically about the things they read and they hear," says Davis.

That extra day in school couldn't hurt. According to the Board of Education, the graduation rate among African-American students in Illinois is 20% lower than white students.

Tanyanette Sims says it's something her 5-year old son needed.

"I've literally been praying for a program like this. My son came home one day and he said, 'Mom, some people don't like brown people.'"

She didn't want her son to feel defeated, but after learning about inventors like Elijah McCoy, it changed the way he saw himself.

"He actually felt good because he’s been seeing people brown like him do some amazing things, says Sims.

Dr. Davis would like to do one thing.

"I want them to walk away with a sense of community."
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