Anneliese Schools completes African Culture Scholar in Residence Program

Students at the Willowbrook Campus of Anneliese Schools recently completed their studies in African Culture through the school’s latest Scholar in Residence series.

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Photos courtesy of Anneliese Schools

Class immersed in African culture

Supported through SEEDS Arts & Education, the Scholar in Residence program included three workshop sessions led by Rose Mwangi, a teacher of African culture and assistant to the late Anneliese Schimmelpfennig. The sessions consisted of lessons in African culture through songs, rhythms, costumes, instruments, dance, geography, language and more.

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Learning about African foods

“The upper grades were immersed in African culture, language, and dance while working with Ms. Rose,” shared Joshua Lerch, fifth grade teacher for Anneliese Schools. “The students looked forward to her engaging and interactive lessons, and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get up and move! Our time together culminated in an evening of traditional African song and dance that left everyone glowing and impressed! What a phenomenal experience for everyone.”

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Evening of traditional song and dance

The Scholar in Residence Program took place in the fourth, fifth and sixth grade classes. All students showcased their knowledge of African culture in a performance for parents after the program came to an end.

Mwangi shared this about her Scholar in Residence workshop series, “Teaching the children about the diversity of the African culture was an exhilarating experience that opened up their minds to the richness of the continent’s heritage. It was an informative time as well as an exciting moment, especially when it came to learning the dance, songs and rhythms of the African people. Their ability to learn and grasp different words in different African languages was amazing. I believe this experience has not only been to gain knowledge but also to teach them to embrace diversity in the world.”

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Student learns to play drums

The Scholar in Residence Program is a special enhancement to the standing curriculum that the school utilizes each semester to introduce students to a deeper dive into different topics that reflect the Anneliese Schools values system. It is a great opportunity for the school to bring in an expert in their field to immerse students in various studies to enrich their existing foundation of learning.

“Anneliese Schools has always woven world languages and cultural learning into the fabric of every day,” said Grade School Director Maria Onesi. “Any time we can expand our students’ awareness of and appreciation for languages and traditions from other countries, it expands their humanity and their potential for connection. Interacting with diverse personalities, listening to different viewpoints, and exposing children to different cultural traditions, values and languages shows them that there is richness in diversity. Ms. Rose’s informative and inspiring program, African Cultural Experience, taught them so much about the countries, languages, traditions, music and dance on the African continent, and we hope, inspires them to see the beauty in diversity.”


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