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sankofa bird

The “Sankofa” is a metaphorical symbol used by the Akan people of Ghana, generally depicted as a bird with its head turned backward taking an egg from its back. It expresses the importance of reaching back to knowledge gained in the past and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress.  What poem or speech inspires you to reflect on your history and helps to provide direction for your successful future?


The Hale H. Cook School was named for Hale H. Cook who was born in Michigan in 1857. He came to Kansas City in 1890 where he was a member of the Board of Education from 1905 until 1917. He served as president, vice president and on every Board committee.

Located in the area once known as Westmoreland, the school site was purchased in August 1912. In October, the first double annex was completed and school began immediately. By 1923, more space was needed and a new building with ten classrooms, an auditorium that would seat 600 people, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, a domestic science room and a manual training room was started. Several classrooms were added to the school in the 1930s. The current building was mothballed in 2009 due to district boundary changes.

After a grassroots effort by The Friends of Hale Cook, the district reopened the building in 2014 to serve the families in the southwest part of the city.

students in classroom of hale cook