Terence Roberts, a member of the Little Rock Nine formed in 1957, spoke at AHS in the Collins Center on Thursday, May 14, 2015. Sophomores in 20th Century classes had been studying the Civil Rights Movement, and what’s better learning than seeing history in front of your eyes?

The Little Rock Nine was a group of African American students who were the first to integrate into Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. Orval Faubus, the governor of Arkansas, called in the National Guard to try and stop the students from entering the building. A little less than three weeks later, the students were finally escorted into the building, and despite the many challenges the students faced, the school became one of the first Southern schools to desegregate.

Ms. Boch, the social studies department advisor, has known Dr. Roberts for a long time and she thought it would be a great opportunity for the students to hear his story, and students responded well. They were “incredibly attentive,” according to Ms. Boch.

 

Ms. Robb, a social studies teacher, added that “the majority of the students were engaged and many asked insightful questions.”

Ms. Boch said, “I could see in some of the students asking questions that it was a really powerful experience for them.”

Ms. Boch later added, “I have all kinds of plans for bringing in more speakers.” Bringing in speakers is a great way to get students interested and engaged. When students are witnessing someone who made history, the inspiration to learn grows more and more.

Ms. Robb also had some thoughts about the assembly. She said, “I do believe that Dr. Roberts’ visit will inspire students to learn both in and out of the classroom. First, when students see what Dr. Roberts and his peers went through simply to get into their school, they may take their learning more seriously.” If students can use this experience to spur their engagement, then the school will be full of eager, curious, critical learners.

At Andover High School, learning is important and essential. Learning is also essential in daily life, for it can bring the world together. Ms. Robb touched on this idea, saying, “Dr. Roberts also spoke about his experiences outside of school and mentioned that he, himself, is still learning today, and that one never really stops learning.”

By Alex Bensley