Kindergartner Lola Jones is learning about Black History Month in a unique way: Each day she dresses up as history’s most iconic female leaders.
When 5-year-old Lola saw a video about Martin Luther King Jr. at her Washington elementary school in January, she came home bursting with questions for parents Cristi and Byron Jones.
Unprepared for such heavy inquiries from the young child, Cristi realized that she needed to get creative. She decided to give her daughter a real-life history lesson by having her dress up each day as a different famous civil rights leader. “Lola has a great imagination so I thought it would be a personal and engaging way to learn,” Cristi, 29, a stay-at-home-mom, tells Yahoo Beauty.
Lola Jones as Nina Simone. (Photo: MsKittiFatale/Twitter)More
Inspired, Cristi got to work, rummaging through her and Lola’s closet for anything that could pass as vintage clothing (“I also stole clothes from my mom,” she confesses) and the pair hit some thrift stores. “We found a great suit jacket for $2.99 that Lola wore as Rosa Parks, an aviator hat for pilot Bessie Coleman, and a bonnet for abolitionist Sojourner Truth,” says Cristi. “The whole project has only cost me about $40.”
Lola Jones as Rosa Parks. (Photo: MsKittiFatale/Twitter)More
Every day, Lola dresses up and her mom shoots the photos on her phone, editing them with free apps. “Then we have a talk about each woman’s challenges and accomplishments,” says Cristi. “We focus on the basics because I didn’t want to overwhelm Lola.”
Lola Jones as Sojourner Truth (Photo: MsKittiFatale/Twitter)More
One day after school drop-off, Cristi mentioned the family project to Lola’s teacher and “she got chills,” says Cristi. “She even decided to incorporate our project into the school history lesson.” Lola’s photos hang on the school’s “diversity board” in the hallway and each day, her teacher projects them onto the wall to kickstart the history lesson. The pair is currently on day 24 of the project which features Zora Neale Hurston.
“Lola is particularly impressed with Dr. Mae Jemison because she went to space and is a doctor and scientist,” says Cristi. “My hope is that Lola has strong female role models who will inspire her to do great things.”
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