Students at the All Saints’ Nursery School are learning to embrace their African culture and heritage from an early age.
Last Friday, in commemoration of Black History Month, the Pleasant Hall, St Peter school marked African Awareness Day, which saw the students participating in a range of fun-filled activities, such as dancing, gymnastics and modelling.
There was an energetic display of tumbling, hand-standing against the wall, flips and cartwheels, as instructor Michael Taitt led the young gymnasts of the school in a special presentation.
Accompanied by instructors Ramound Joseph on the drums and Nadia Mitchell-Gittens, the students also sang: “I am an African, oh yeah! I am a black man, oh yeah!” They also added some traditional nursery rhymes and songs to the mix with There’s a Brown Girl in the Rain, London Bridge is Falling Down, Blue Bird through my Window and One, Two, Buckle My Shoe as they moved in rhythm to the beat of the drum.
Then it came time for the finale of the African Awareness Day Modelling Show in which the students, dressed in brightly coloured and captivating African designs, made a bold and powerful fashion statement.
Popular among the boys was the Dashiki shirts with an ornate V-shaped collar, paired with a brimless Kufi hat and matching pants or coordinated jeans. Meanwhile, the girls reflected a variety of African hairstyles with corkscrews, braids and puffs; some of which were adorned with African head wraps matching their Kaftan shirts and dresses and skirt suits.
Parents also strutted the runway with their children in coordinating outfits for the finale, which was emceed by teacher Anya Holmes as Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) by Shakira and African Pride by Buju Banton played in the background.
Principal Marva McClean expressed her gratitude to parents, guardians, staff members and children for their involvement in the celebration of African heritage.
“The children are really benefitting. It teaches them from early to be proud of and appreciate their African heritage,” she said.
“You can see the budding gymnasts and dancers and it’s improving their self-confidence, ability to follow instructions and develop their coordination, to help build their muscles and develop [their] fine and large motor skills,” McClean added.