BU students read with Cameroonian children
We had the opportunity to visit C&J Nursery School in Kumba, South West Region, Cameroon, to help the students practice their reading skills. Upon arrival the students sung their national anthem, a welcome song, and the Head Teacher greeted us with a welcome speech.
After we were welcomed, the C&J students were split into small groups and each student from BU read short stories to them and also prepared the best reader in their group for a reading competition. The children’s books we used were donated by Christina Beckham’s mother and grandmother. Christina, who was part of the first group of BU students to visit the school in the summer of 2009, was so impressed by the students’ eagerness that she wanted to contribute to their learning.
I was also impressed that the children’s parents came along to observe the reading. Some of them participated as judges of the reading competition. While the judging was taking place, some children engaged in cultural activities such as traditional dancing. Prizes were awarded after the activities to the first, second, and third place winners. Each place received a sum of money, with first place taking the most amount.
Experiencing the welcome song and being able to hear the students’ national anthem, automatically made me feel welcomed. When I was assigned to my group, the children were so happy to have a story to read. The older girl in the group mainly read to the others while I helped her through the story. After we went through the story once, she was so eager to read it again and again, to learn the new words in the story that she did not know.
I'm studying to be a secondary education English teacher, and even though I will be dealing with mainly teenagers, I was able to take so much away by interacting, guiding and teaching students something new. I worked with the student for some time and she ended up winning the competition!
It was an amazing feeling to know I helped prepare her for that accomplishment and to receive a big smile and a hug for doing so. Not only was I able to work with this student on an educational level, but I also was able to see another side of her through the demonstration of the traditional African dances. It showed me a hidden talent that this young girl had is not seen on the surface. It showed me how passionate she was not only about learning, but also about her dancing.
At first, I just saw a student, but at the end, I saw a complete person with many talents. As a future teacher, I would lookout for the different talents and interests my students bring to the classroom.
— Brynn Abrahamsen, BU student | Photo gallery