Students at a high school in Memphis have a unique opportunity to take part in a pilot history course. Kirby High School is offering its students the chance to take a course incorporating Memphis and African American history.

“Think about your generation, think about your culture, think about what you see on TV,” said Lauren Irene-Barksdale, a history teacher at Kirby High School. “If people are educated about the legacy of their communities, the legacy of the city, then they can continuously keep that legacy going.”

This curriculum will teach students about the city’s historic people, events, and places through a partnership with Memphis Heritage Trail. They’ll step out of the classroom and on the trail, allowing them to see firsthand the cultural blueprint of the Bluff City.

“Just the thought of even being able to get outside the classroom and visit the trail, they are loving that,” Irene-Barksdale said.

In addition to course offerings, there will be a smart phone app that rolls out later this fall that includes audio and visual elements.

“This is one of those partnerships that will help us to not only catapult kids into a place where they are successful but also get an idea about their own heritage and things that happened right here in Memphis,” said Steevon Hunter, Kirby High’s first-year principal.

After a review of the curriculum, the district is planning to expand the course for grades kindergarten through twelfth.

“We’re hoping other schools latch on to it, but I’m very happy that it’s starting here first at Kirby High School,” Irene-Barksdale said.

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