“Mr. Scott, can you tell us a little bit about what happens when children go home from school in Africa?” asked Bush Elementary School third grade teacher, Barb Senn.
“Yes, most children once they go home from school have chores they must do to help their families and depending on where they live in Africa they may not have enough food or water. No matter what homework they might have to do for school, many students must complete it on their own with no help, because their families are busy working,” said JCC student Scott Kemah, a native of Cameroon, Africa.
“So, remember students in the book we are reading in ELA, Rain School, how we found out that children in Africa must go to great lengths to seek the power of education and reading? Mr. Scott is telling us that this is true. Does anyone have questions for Mr. Scott?”
Bush Elementary School third graders had the unique opportunity to learn more about Africa and what it is like to go to school there from Mr. Kemah. He talked about the culture and answered questions. Students are completing an ELA module with two guiding questions, “How do people around the world access reading and books?” and “How does reading give us power?” The first book they are reading, Rain School, takes place in Chad, Africa. Mrs. Senn thought it would be a nice connection to invite Mr. Kemah to talk to all third graders about his experiences.
“It is so important to bring in someone like Mr. Kemah into the classroom because he is so knowledgeable about Africa and the country of Chad, which helps enlighten our students that the story they are reading in class did explain the true difficulties that children in the rural villages have to accessing education,” said Mrs. Senn. “Mr. Kemah’s explanation brought this book to life by hearing about the obstacles students face: some walking a very long distance to school, building their school of mud bricks with grass/sapling roofs, learning from their teacher with few school materials, and the rainy season destroying the school after school ended. As a teacher, the most beneficial part of Mr. Kemah’s visit was to show our students, through explanation of his life and the children in Chad, that you can be anything you want to be in life, but you must work very hard and go to great lengths in order to seek the power of education and reading.”
Mr. Kemah, who is studying nursing at JCC, also enjoyed the visit with students.
“I think it’s so important for students to learn about other cultures around the world and the similarities and differences between them,” said Mr. Kemah. “Students in Africa do not always have the same advantages in education as U.S. students but they are highly motivated to seek education, even with the obstacles. It is important that students here understand the many advantages that they have in the U.S. and take every opportunity that comes their way.”