Value in heritage

tpetcuthbertmoorepcwdanceStudents at Cuthbert Moore Primary learnt an important lesson today – to value their heritage.

Organised by teacher Shernell Reid, the school celebrated African Awareness with a focus on appreciating things African.

Senior teacher Linda Graham told the students that African heritage and culture went way beyond just slavery and had an influence on almost everything that touched their lives, including clothing, food, music and dance.

She told Reid that the school was grateful for the opportunity to learn more about Africa and hoped the children would appreciate the cultural displays and education.

Reid explained that she was a part of a group called the Mabalozi, which included teachers from both primary and secondary levels involved in a programme with the Commission for Pan African Affairs, which in turn taught them about Africa and how to educate children. She said the group had made a pledge to promote Afrocentric values in the schools.

The children benefitted from a cultural presentation by the Pinelands Creative Workshop, who along with past student Mia Ferdinand, performed two dances, then encouraged students to get involved.

They taught the Infants A class some of the African steps, which they then performed for the entire school, even as Reid encouraged the students to learn more about the history behind certain movements, even in Bajan culture.

While warning there was always a time, place as well as a proper way to perform some of the movements, Reid said: “Today we would have learnt that a particular type of movement is part of our heritage. So when you see some of these moves you know where it comes from.”

Some of the students also got involved in providing the rhythms for their colleagues to dance, with several of them utilising drums, sticks, a pair of cymbals and maracas for intriguing sounds.

Class Two students then recited local sayings and African proverbs, along with the translations.

The evening session was to include dramatic presentations by other classes. A number of students and teacher came today dressed in African apparel and one teacher even had her hair done up in an intricate design for the day. (LB)

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