MUSKEGON, Mich. — A class of children at a daycare celebrated Black History Month this year by dressing up as various iconic people of color, learning about everything they accomplished by becoming them.
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Tina Grissom has run Tina-Tots daycare from her home in Muskegon for the past 2 years. For her, running a daycare has always been more than just watching children while their parents work.
Grissom focuses her efforts on strengthening each child's foundational values, working to instill confidence and success throughout their lives.
“You are great learners, and you are learning for our now and for our future,” Grissom told her group of kids Wednesday when FOX 17 came to visit.
“It's about incorporating and binding us together, and teaching our children that even in spite of what you may be dealing with, you're still able to be somebody strong and make an impression, or make an imprint on society,” she said.
Aligning with these values, Grissom has her kids participating in a project called Who Are You for Black History Month this year, with each one picking out a person of color who has accomplished great things to dress up as and learn about.
“The more we allow them to get dressed up, the more they got into the mindset of who they were becoming,” Grissom said.
On Wednesday, there were 2 girls dressed up as civil rights activist Angela Davis.
A 1-year-old girl was dressed up as Lydia Newman, the African-American woman who invented the durable hairbrush.
A 2-year-old with a fondness for singing dressed up as the legendary American singer Billie Holiday. On Wednesday the young Ms Holiday sang a rendition of the alphabet song for FOX 17.
Another child demonstrated her gymnastic abilities as a miniature Simone Biles, while a young man put on a small lab coat to talk about the accomplishments of Dr Ben Carson.
“What do you have around your neck, Ben Carson?" Grissom asked the boy Wednesday.
"A stethoscope!" he quickly replied.
For now, Tina runs the daycare from her home in Muskegon. Eventually she hopes to build a stand-alone center where kids will be able to learn a multitude of topics.
“Our affirmation is train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” Grissom said.
“So not only are we imprinting them with somebody of the past, but we don't know whom we're forming for the future.”