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Oceanway 4th Graders Celebrate Black History Month

4:55 PM, Feb 26, 2010   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In celebration of Black History Month, fourth graders at Oceanway Elementary School not only researched an African-American inventor, they got him on the phone. They are our 'Students of the Week.'

Michelle Matthews' fourth grade class made an important phone call this week. Thousands of miles away in California, they called Joseph Jackson, the inventor of the programmable remote control. 

One by one, the students all asked questions into the speaker phone. Fourth grader Amelia asked, 'Why did you invent the remote control.?' Jackson answered, 'One day I was waiting for a program to come on TV and I nodded off and the program came on and I missed it.'

All the students in Ms. Matthews' fourth grade class researched an African-American scientist or inventor for Black History Month.

Fourth grader William Edenfield not only researched an inventor but with the help of his mom, also got in touch with Jackson through the internet and then helped arrange a conference call with his class. 

"It's a great experience for the students to be able to research and then find a living and breathing person they can speak to," said Principal Beverly Crosby.

The entire call lasted about 15 minutes, but the conversation left an impression the students will never forget. 

"It was very inspiring," said Edenfield. "He was able to not only tell us about himself, but other black inventors," said Matthews.  

First Coast News