Kenosha teacher writes book celebrating Wisconsin diversity

KENOSHA -- A Kenosha educator took it upon herself to make sure kids are able to learn about Wisconsin's black history. Edward Bain School of Language and Art fifth-grade teacher Andrea Bell-Meyers spent five years researching, writing and illustrating her own book, and now she uses it to educate her students in the classroom.

Bell-Meyers says her book-writing project began back in 2003 when she witnessed what many teachers experience when students get the same old assignments. "The kids were just like 'ughhh!' Like they were just about to die, and I actually felt for them!" Bell-Meyers said.

Bell-Meyers decided to take on a book project - spending five years writing "African-American Firsts in Wisconsin, and other Historical Facts of Diversity." "I said, you know what? These kids do not know enough about their local history. Even though it's the Civil War, how does it relate to Kenosha? How does it relate to the southeastern area? It is heavily impacted!" Bell-Meyers said.

Bell-Meyers says her book can have an impact extending well beyond Black History Month, and her diverse young students can become part of the story as they contribute to Wisconsin's "Historical Facts of Diversity." "Everyone in this classroom is a result of that, and I definitely want to keep that going with this generation," Bell-Meyers said.