WNC nature centerStudying Africa

Our first grade Cheetahs are on an adventure! They’re studying the continent of Africa, its people and cultures. They also have some awesome hands-on experiences that are part of their learning.

First, Sara Stender, our Campaign Manager is headed for Rwanda. In addition to being a part of Rainbow, Sara is the founder of a non-profit organization called the Africa Healing Exchange. Their organization strives to

“create a cross-cultural partnership of individuals and organizations dedicated to ending the cycle of generational trauma, addiction and related illnesses, by providing services to youth and their caregivers in post-conflict communities. AHE’s vision is to create an innovative and sustainable model to be replicated throughout the world.” 

As such, Sara frequently heads to Rwanda to make connections that will provide resilience training to caregivers in post-conflict communities.

Since the First Grade Cheetahs are studying their wonderful unit about Africa, they seized this opportunity to create a partnership with a school in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital and largest city.

They are sending over artwork and photos, gifts from the First Grade Cheetahs. Their photos show things that make them feel loved and the resources they have to put them in a safe, comfortable place.

Take a look at a video snippet of students sharing their pictures about things that make them feel special, safe and loved:

They shared their beautiful artwork during their morning centering, when Sara and fellow Rwandan travelers joined the morning centering.

They also had a chance to learn a few words in Kinyarwandan – the language spoken in Rwanda. The people of Rwanda speak some English in the schools, but otherwise, they mostly speak Kinyarwandan. Now, first graders know how to say “Hello; how are you?”

Chris Visits from the Nature Center

Next, Chris Gentile, the Director of the Western North Carolina Nature Center visited first grade on Monday, February 9, 2015. He enriched the students’ experience on learning about Africa by bringing hissing cockroaches from Madagascar and a black rat (not rattle!) snake.

Chris, at one point had the cockroaches crawling on his shirt! The kiddos also had a chance to pet the black rat snake. He was very tame, very calm and everyone seemed to notice how he wasn’t slimy at all!

petting the black rat snakeThe hissing cockroaches were definitely a hit, too. However, Miss Rachel asked Chris to please make sure all the cockroaches were back in their cage before he left. Once assured that all were accounted for (we think!) she was able to relax just a bit.

hissing cockroaches from Madagascar

 Making Connections in Rwanda

As the first graders wrap up their Africa unit, they’re going to partner up with a school in Kigali, Rwanda. On February 25, they’re going to have a Skype session with students in Rwanda!

We’ll update this post as soon as that happens!


Share This