Jean from Skerries ETNS gives us a snapshot of the recent African Appreciation Week at Skerries ETNS:
“We celebrated ‘Africa Appreciation Week’ recently. It was a resounding success, I am so happy to say. Throughout the week there was a number of visitors to the school who shared personal experiences of Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon and Mozambique. These visitors visited each class bringing food, clothes, artefacts and stories. We had a fantastic African artefact exhibition for parents and children. All artefacts were lent to the school by parents. Children were allowed admire, touch and talk about a huge variety of masks, statues, carvings, musical instruments, clothes, bowls and utensils. Every child in the school painted, drew or weaved a picture which was professionally framed and exhibited for all of the Skerries community to see.
Each class took an in-depth look at a particular aspect of African culture, music, art of history. Junior and Senior Infants studied Handa’s Surprise. This inspired a food tasting morning of exotic African fruit, and helped out by parents this was great fun for the children. Another Senior Infant class and 1st Class looked at the life story of Nelson Mandela and learnt the song ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ by The Specials. 1st and 2nd Class read the novel Mandela. 2nd Class looked at the history of the Underground Railroad, learning about the network of secret routes and safe houses which allowed slave in Southern America to escape to the states where slavery was abolished.
3rd Class read about Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, writing diary entries for a slave child. 4th and 5th Class put together projects on a range of countries in Africa. 6th Class examined the trans-Atlantic Slave trade, examining the Transatlantic Slave Triangel, the brutally efficient system of trade which allowed merchants to benefit from the capture, sale and work of the slaves. Other activities included work with clay, mask making and necklace making.
These projects were also displayed around the school for Friday 1st for all to see and admire. Our school choir sang two beautiful African Songs and a spiritual that brought tears to the eyes of many in the audience. Parents made African food and our staff room and hallways were abuzz with people chatting and sampling lots of exotic recipes.
In short….it was great!!”
Jean, Skerries ETNS