Making Room for Me in Your Curriculum


  • Alexis Oppong, Public Policy, University of Delaware

Faculty Mentor(s)

  • Scott Abbott, Biden School: IPA, University of Delaware
  • Francis O'Malley, Biden School: IPA, University of Delaware
  • Lisa Allred, Biden School: IPA, University of Delaware


This summer, I enjoyed working alongside influential mentors and peers within the Biden School concerning the Delaware 7th-grade civics curriculum. Ranging from editing and creating new lesson plans, to working with local 7th-grade civics teachers within the state to gather information and feedback, my team and I were able to conjure up over 25+ lesson plans filled with various engaging activities along with vital information regarding the rights and responsibilities of the people and government of the United States. While working on the curriculum presented challenges, there was an essential addition to the civics curricula through the recent passing of House Bill 198. As stated on the Delaware General Assembly’s website: “This Act requires each school district and charter school to establish and implement a curriculum on Black History for students in grades K through 12. This Act incorporates contemporary events into discussions of Black History and the tools of experience”. While to some this Act may be redundant thinking that Black History is already taught in schools, to those who are genuinely aware, it is understood how important of a step this is regarding educating children across the state with an essential part of history that impacts us all to this day. Countless times, Black History has been erased or overlapped within the American schooling system. It has come to the point where many Black students themselves (including myself), were not aware of many parts of their background until they graduated/acquired the information from relatives or social media. Given the fact that Black History and Culture are deeply rooted in our current-day society, making space for it in our curriculum is of utmost importance and respect. Being able to incorporate and share my history and others who look like me into Delaware’s 7th grade education, has been such a privilege.