Days in February continue to go by like pages in a book; with that, students in Portage la Prairie continue to embrace all things I Love to Read.

Although the month is dedicated to reading and literacy, Black History Month should not be forgotten. Mark Sokolowski, Principal of Oakville School, is ensuring that won't happen within his school.

Sokolowski explains that students are being taught about influential black Canadian artists and figures.

He says that while they are combining the two topics for February, they have a lot of different creative ways that they are teaching children about the importance and significance of black Canadians.

"All of our schools (in the Portage la Prairie School Division) are doing great things and innovative things not just to acknowledge it, but to teach about it and to spend classroom time/instructional time learning about the importance of significant black Canadians," shares the Oakville Principal. "On a much larger scale to the importance of inclusion and diversity, and recognizing everyone's value and importance moving forward."

Sokolowski adds that teaching black history is vital to growing a future of equality.

"It's critical because if we truly value a society that is inclusive and respects and appreciates diversity, then we have to do it. It's not enough to say it. You have to find ways to teach and learn about it."

Sokolowski says that the roles that schools play are a prime opportunity to take the time to learn, teach and appreciate, respect and become more informed about all cultures and backgrounds.

"It's really important that we spend time learning about it and practicing what we preach and not just simply saying it, but trying to find ways to make sure that we are always being mindful of being inclusive and respecting and celebrating diversity."

Black History Month has been observed for the last 53 years in Canada.