Newburgh's Enlarged City School District is teaching elementary school students about famous African-Americans who have made strides and worked to unite the country. School officials are teaching their students to embrace diversity.

"[We're] making sure that every child feels valued, every child feels loved, and that they feel that they can contribute to American society," said Balmville Elementary Assistant Principal Beverley Johnson.

That lesson goes up through high school, like the English classes that are studying the criminal justice system and how it impacts minorities.

"I think it is very important for Black History Month, not only for everybody in America and also young black people to learn some of these struggles [they] have gone through to put us in this position that we are in now, which is very good," said Newburgh Free Academy sophomore Qualib Smith.  

"What I think they're seeing is that, even though there are so many issues and unfair things, unfair practices happening within the criminal justice system, there are many individuals who are working to create change, and that we're not powerless as people," said Newburgh Free Academy English teacher Jacqueline Hesse.

But sometimes second graders are the best at summing up why students learn: "Because we have to be together, not apart," said Balmville student Brielle Lewin.