In the Community
Local Elementary Students “Travel” To Ghana
(2011, April 23/ Academics) Local Elementary Students “Travel” to Ghana.
The Cincinnati Herald.
Retrieved from http://www.thecincinnatiherald.com
Photos by Eric Opoku Agyemang, head master of the Great Promise School Complex and Jonathon Hornsby of Jonathan’s Photography.
For nearly two dozen elementary and middle school students in the Princeton, Northwest Local and Winton Woods school districts, traveling to the African nation of Ghana seemed to be an unbelievable possibility. Yet, that’s exactly what they were able to do. Under the guidance of the Queen City Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and its International Trends Facet/Committee, 23 students ranging in age from five years old to 13 from nine local public and private schools participated in a six session program designed to educate them about another world culture and some of the humanitarian concerns of the Republic of Ghana in West Africa. Participating schools included Lincoln Heights Elementary, Woodlawn Elementary, Bethany School, Evendale Elementary, Springdale Elementary, Winton Woods Elementary, Pleasant Run Elementary, Princeton Community Middle School and Pleasant Run Middle School.
Through this program, entitled “3-L League” (Learning, Linking and Leading), the students experienced, discussed and illustrated or wrote about the geography, culture, economics and basic needs of the country. In addition, the local students reached across the Atlantic Ocean and established an ongoing relationship by exchanging letters through a tradition pen pal program and also held a “Skype” session with Great Promise School Complex outside of the village of Kasoa (about 15 miles from the capital city of Accra). The participating students from the Great Promise Complex in Ghana ranged in age from eight to 13. “We hoped that as a result of participating in this program, the horizons of all involved would be broadened through social interactions with people of other cultures or countries,” said Queen City Links President, Deborah Gentry Davis.
The program came to life after the local Chapter made contact with former Cincinnatian Janet Butler who now lives in Accra, Ghana.
Activities involved in this “journey to Ghana” included: meeting one another, experiencing the culture of Ghana through story-telling, reading books, participating in dancing and singing events, tasting Ghanaian food, writing essays, listening to the language and learning from individuals familiar with Ghana who live in the Cincinnati area. Michael Gyamfi and Dinah Yisrael, Ghanaian culture speakers, Nana-Hawa Yayah Jones, a Ghanaian native, and staff from the Bi-Okoto Culture Institute, helped to design and guide the children through experiences that highlighted the richness of the culture of the country.
In the “leading” component, the students participated in a humanitarian effort raising money to aid in water purification programs. By partnering with Martha Brosz, Safe Water Science Coordinator, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, and her student assistant Cara Dyne, the students learned that providing clean drinking water is possible by making small monetary donations. The “3-L” students joined with the Links in raising funds to contribute to the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program in Ghana through the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.
Eric Opoku Agyemang, head master of Great Promise School Complex, also implemented a version of the 3-L program at the same time that the program was underway in Cincinnati. “I want to use this opportunity to congratulate the Links Incorporated for giving the children of Great Promise School the opportunity to take part in the recently completed 3 – L Program. He said this program has hugely developed the children by giving them practical exposure to online live communication through a video conference, with the help of the computer and internet access. The students share ideas with pen pals abroad and it also gives them the chance to explore the cultures of both Ghana and America. This has also broadened their global knowledge, improved their writing skills and their ability to conduct research independently.
“The 3–L program has really helped the children to realize the challenges faced by our nation, the school and towards their personal development,” Agyemang said.
At the conclusion of the project, the 3-L Program students presented their experiences and received gifts/recognition from Queen City Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.