Wisconsin 6th Graders Recreate Famous Photos to Honor Black Icons: 'Representation Is Key!'

A group of Milwaukee sixth graders are picture-perfect in these sweet recreations of icon's famous photos as they celebrate Black History Month

Photo: Courtesy Terrance Sims Jr./Milwaukee College Prep

A group of sixth-graders is celebrating Black History Month in an extra special way.

Students at Milwaukee College Prep School in Wisconsin are paying homage to influential Black figures all month by recreating famous photos of icons to honor the many Black leaders who have impacted the nation.

So far, a little girl has recreated former First Lady Michelle Obama‘s Becoming book cover, a little boy has posed as activist Malcolm X and a group of kids remade the iconic photo of the Greensboro Four, who sat at in protest a whites-only lunch counter in North Carolina in the ’60s.

Courtesy Terrance Sims Jr./Milwaukee College Prep

“I think its extremely important for students to know and embrace their culture,” Terrance Sims Jr., a teacher at Milwaukee College Prep School, tells PEOPLE.

“It is who we are, and when we know who we are we can flourish around others different from us. Learning to love ourselves builds self esteem and allows us to be successful and happy people.”

Sims, who has worked in education for six years, has made it an annual tradition for his students — most of whom are Black — to honor Black History Month with a project, he told HelloGiggles. This year’s project is called “Representation is Key.”

Courtesy Terrance Sims Jr./Milwaukee College Prep

He told Inside Edition that “the students are the brains behind the operation.” He added to HelloGiggles that the idea was sparked by a recent book club Sims’ students started. The kids wanted to recreate covers of the books they’re reading.

“Black history has always been important to me, but as an educator, it is a crucial part of my job,” Sims told HelloGiggles. “While February is an exciting time for Black history, I teach my students daily to love their skin and know their personal history.”

Courtesy Terrance Sims Jr./Milwaukee College Prep

Other displays include Assata Shakur’s autobiography, Biggie Smalls, Sharon G. Flake’s The Skin I’m In, and they even posed as the cast of Black-Ish.

The photos quickly made away across the Internet capturing the hearts of social media users everywhere. Sims says neither he nor his students were expecting this, but they welcome the attention.

“We’ve loved every minute of it!” he tells PEOPLE. “It’s so exciting to see people appreciating the work that happens in our classroom. The students are excited to work harder and that pushes them to learn more!”

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