Becoming Collegiate Academy has become Jacksonville’s first Historically Black College and University-inspired elementary school. 

The school’s Executive Director, Cameron Frazier says the school was created to implement the best practices from the HBCU experience to kids early on.

“We are replicating the culture of Historically Black College and Universities by focusing on building positive relationships, leveraging identity and culture and holding up high expectations,” Executive Director Cameron Frazier told FOX 30 News.

First Coast News reports that when you open the doors to the school, you can see HBCU flags decorating the entrance. ABCs in classrooms represent “A” for “Alcorn State University” and “Z” for “Zora Neale Hurston.”

Frazier says representation matters.

“It’s very important that our students see role models who look just like them standing in front of them every single day,” Frazier told First Coast News.

“It’s extremely important for our students to experience it in elementary school. They need to see Black males teaching them academic content, letting them know that they are smart, building their identity, holding high expectations and surrounding them with love.”

– Becoming Collegiate Academy’s Executive Director, Cameron Frazier

Frazier has also served as representation for a teacher at the school who was once his student.

Ahmad Levy used to be Frazier’s student and now he’s a teacher himself. He says having a Black male teacher at a young age made a difference for him.

“Seeing someone that looked like me as my teacher, that really inspired me to take a second look at different things to do in life,” Levy said. “I now teach so that I can be that representation for our community.”

As of right now, Becoming Collegiate Academy has 80 students enrolled and a kindergarten and first grade. They plan to add a grade every year to complete the goal of becoming an inspiration for their community and preparing students for higher education.

“Our brown bears are going to make a difference in the world one day,” Frazier said. “You’ll see the big brown bear and you’ll be surrounded by nothing but love.”

The school is still accepting applications for students and looking for educators.

There is a ribbon cutting ceremony set for Tuesday at 10 a.m.