Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Britt Hochhausler
PORTALES — On Oct. 7 and 8, two Clovis elementary schools will be transported out of the United States and into the African country of Ghana. Barry Elementary and Highland Elementary will present an African Market Day on Oct. 7 and a Durbar on Oct. 8.
This summer, public school teachers, through Eastern New Mexico University, were awarded a Fulbright-Hays Group Abroad Project grant. Eighteen teachers participated in the project, which allowed them to travel to Ghana for 29 days to study teaching and cultural customs. Four of the teachers work in Clovis, and have been teaching their students about the Ghanaian culture for the past month. Dr. Caryl Johnson, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences at ENMU, was the director of the project.
Mrs. Barbara Parson, a special education teacher at Barry Elementary, is an alumna of ENMU with a bachelor's of education in special education and a master's in special education. She is working on an internship for her
administration certification. She is also one of the directors for the Durbar and African Market Day."The African Market Day is an imitation of what we saw there," Mrs. Parson said.
It will be held at Barry Elementary, which will be treated as a Ghanaian village. Students from Highland Elementary (also treated as a separate Ghanaian village) will walk to Barry Elementary. Students will explain the
history of Kente cloth and will present one of the Anansi tales. Students will barter beads for Kente cloth, jugs of water, fry bread, and aqaba dolls.
The Durbar is a celebration to honor guests, visitors and tribal chiefs. This time, the students at Barry Elementary will walk to Highland Elementary. At the Durbar, students will play Ghanaian games, hold a beading
ceremony, sing Wasuta songs and perform Adinkra dances. Dr. Johnson will preside over the beading ceremony as the Queen Mother. Students will also learn about the livestock, farming and agriculture in Ghana.
For more information, contact Dr. Johnson at 505-562-2516 or Mrs. Parson at 505-769-4430.