|Brazilian Exchange Students at Eastway Elementary|
Second graders at Eastway Elementary School started their morning with a tour through Brazil thanks to 20 Brazilian students participating in an exchange program at North Carolina Central University. The visiting students led the children in speaking Portuguese and playing a variety of games.
Dr. Deborah Bailey, director of NCCU's Academic Community Service Learning Program, said the visit was intended to give Eastway students an opportunity to experience another culture.
“Our goal is to maximize the potential of our students by tapping into their strengths and involving parents and the community,” said Kendral Flowers, school principal. A key step in the process is to celebrate the cultures of all students.
Using experiences from their own childhood, the exchange students taught the second graders a song about a frog with smelly feet and played “alive or dead,” a game that is similar to “Simon Says.” A slide presentation and music highlighted Brazilian points of interest and cultural celebrations, including two famous Rio de Janeiro landmarks, Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) statue and Sugar Loaf (Pao de Acucar) Mountain; the samba, a Brazilian ballroom dance of African origin; and June Festival (Festa Junina ),which celebrates the birth of John the Baptist.
Second-grade teacher Angella Jones led the way in bringing the visitors to Eastway. Jones spent several years studying in Costa Rica and recognizes how important it is that students experience a world beyond their neighborhood. “They will remember this,” said Jones.
The exchange students are part of the Student Leadership Institute, a partnership between NCCU and the U.S. Department of State. At NCCU, they are studying American history and government and attending several presentations by NCCU faculty. Participation in the program required them to complete a community service project. Working with Bailey, the students decided to connect to other students in the Durham area as their project. This afternoon, they will speak with English as a Second Language or ESL students at Hillside High School.