Black History Month
Mid Winter Break Program/Freedom School
We started every day with Harambee, which is Swahili for “all pull together” and is how Freedom School staff begin their day with the students. What we did with the kids was, we incorporated chants and singing that allowed us to get the kids excited to begin their day and have a chance for every child in the program to come together as one.
Daily Literacy Curriculum
For the weeklong program, we incorporated a daily literacy curriculum based on the books of the Somali Bilingual Book Project from the Minnesota Humanities Center in collaboration with the Minnesota Somali Community. The students were able to read four traditional Somali folktales in both English and Somali. Most of our students are Somali so it was such a great way for the kids to read these books from their cultural roots. We also centered activities around these books so that the kids could engage in the stories. Here is a picture of the books (above) we read.
(Drop Everything and Read)
We had the kids have an opportunity to read everyday by themselves in order to practice their reading skills. We did this everyday in order to promote reading.
Woodland Park Zoo
We had the Up CLOSE Woodland Park Zoo Animal Outreach Program come and brought animals here at EACS to show the kids. This program is designed to accommodate various age groups and allows for an opportunity to bring the zoo to us. We wanted to get the students excited about animals in the world. Some of the animals that we saw were turtles, tarantulas, geckos, and egyptian tortoises.
Southgate Roller Rink
We had a field trip to the Southgate Roller Rink, a roller skating rink located in White Center. It allowed the kids to be able to have fun and practice their skating skills. There were races and competitions at the roller rink that allowed the kids to bond and have fun together.
R.I.P.P.E.D. is a fitness program that encompasses all aspects of physical fitness which stands for Resistance, Interval, Power, Plyometrics, Endurance and Diet. Our K-5 Program manager Shontia Copeland-Walton is a exercise instructor for R.I.P.P.E.D. She made a kid friendly version for our students. The kids had fun working up a sweat!
Movie Day/Pajama Day
We also watched the movie, Hidden Figures on the last day of the program with a Pajama Day. It was a fun way to end the program that allowed us to learn more about Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. The students learned that there were three black women who worked at NASA that served as the brains behinds the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit which turned around the Space Race.
Not only did we begin our day with Harambee but we ended with it as well. Here is a link to a clip of the kids doing Harambee below.