By Donna Van Wyk
Cheza Nami Assembly
Come play with me! Or shall I say, “Cheza Nami” in Swahili. What better way to connect with our youth than through interactive dance, music and play? Throughout the school year hundreds of K-12 grade students are experiencing the magic and mystery of Africa in Cheza Nami’s informative and energetic 45 minute school assembly. Exploring the cultures, music, dress, instruments and dance of Africa, children receive enhanced diversity and multicultural awareness, while participating in something unique, memorable and fun!
About the Cheza Nami Assembly, Collaborators and Sponsors
Cheza Nami believes in a play-based, experiential approach to education by teaching African culture through dance, play and movement. The Cheza Nami Foundation Cultural Arts and Learning (CAL) assembly is a curriculum-based youth cultural arts educational program developed this year. This series will be offered to the Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) in collaboration with the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center (LVPAC). Listen for Life has also partnered with Cheza Nami to make their Travels with music unit on Africa, an online educational resource, available for the assembly pre-visit lesson plan.
This exciting program has won the approval of the City of Pleasanton and Redwood City Cultural Commission who have both awarded Cheza Nami with grants to provide schools with these educational assemblies. Cheza Nami has already provided assemblies to individual schools in cities throughout the Bay Area including Palo Alto, San Francisco, Redwood City and Alameda.
Benefits of the Assembly
In the lead up to the assembly, teachers are provided with a pre-visit lesson plan with material that includes facts about Africa, music, videos, worksheets and carefully selected videos and audio from Listen for Life.
From this cultural lesson plan, children will gain:
See what kid's are saying about the cultural lesson plan
Cultural activities such as dance, drumming, imaginative play and song provide interactive, educational experiences while fulfilling visual arts, social studies and physical educations standards of the California State Department of Education.
Through the assembly program, children:
With such a captivating and informational package, Cheza Nami assemblies are already booking up with the following school assemblies for November 2014: Vintage Hills Elementary, Alisal Elementary, Walnut Grove Elementary, Orion Elementary School, Valley View Elementary, Hearts Elementary School, Lydiksen Elementary.
"That was a fantastic program. All the children were fully engaged. There was never a dull moment. There was movement, there was music. All the kids were excited and I felt that they learnt so much about the culture. All the students from our 6 year-olds all the way to up to our 11 year-olds were fully engaged and had a wonderful time" -Jennifer Loewen. Teacher, Orion School
"The assembly was so fun. We danced a lot. I got tired. I turned around and around. I wish we could do it again" - Daniel, 2nd grade
"I would like to go to Africa. I want to hear them play all of the drums and I want to wear the jewelry. The jewelry is so pretty. They wear a lot of necklaces. I would like to wear them. I want to see some animals too. I want to see a lion. I hope I can go to Kenya" -Samantha, 4th grade
"During the assembly I learnt about they are like us. My favorite part was when the man was playing with the drums." -Unknown student
You can find children's reviews on our pre-assembly lesson plan on Africa HERE.