Pupils of C W Prescod Primary explore cultures of English Speaking Caribbean
It was a colourful day at the CW Prescod Primary School last Tuesday as students immersed themselves in the cultures of the English speaking Caribbean for the school’s first ever “Caribbean Day.”
Anyone visiting the Primary school would have been struck by the effort that had been expended in introducing Jamaica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Guyana, Anguilla, St Lucia, Montserrat, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, and St Vincent and the Grenadines(SVG) to the students.
After walking through the flag aisle at the entrance, and past the welcome sign, one would come to the classrooms that were fully decked in the colours of the flags of the countries that the grades had been tasked to represent. The students were similarly robed, from simple to elaborate costumes depicting their assigned islands.
Their level of excitement was apparent in the hyper atmosphere at lunchtime, during which time they were served national dishes which had been prepared by parents with knowledge of the islands’ cuisine.
The committee which organized the day comprised the social studies teachers, and was spearheaded by Marsha Reynolds.
Standing in a grade one classroom, surrounded by balloons, curtains and cardboard displays which reflected the black, red and white of the Trinidad and Tobago flag, social studies teacher Sheva Butcher found a moment to speak with SEARCHLIGHT about the progress of the day.
As she spoke, the children were engaged in eating wrapped rotis with mango chutney, and pelau prepared in a ‘Trinidadian’ way.
Butcher said that during the morning, individuals from other Caribbean countries were invited to speak to the children, including a pastor from Barbados and the former Permanent Secretary, Morine Williams from Jamaica.
In the afternoon the students were set to travel to the other classes/countries to gain information from them about their countries.
“My class is focusing on the festivals that Trinidad has. So as you can see we have Diwali displayed, you have Carnival, and also the other festivals that they will have throughout the year. So I zoomed in on Diwali because they are not familiar with that,” Butcher explained.
Since the students are familiar with Carnival, Butcher says she focused on the music unique to Trinidad, chutney soca, and the children did Indian dances to go with this.
Most of the students did not know about Trinidad before the preparations for “Caribbean Day,” but now they are excited to visit, Butcher stated.
“It’s the first time, and it’s something that we have as an idea to continue, but we going to look at it in different areas. This time we look at the English speaking, so next time we might look at the Spanish or the French [speaking Caribbean],” she informed.
The six year-old students smiled shyly as they all said they were enjoying themselves.
Aaron Baisden said that he learned about the National Anthem and, “I tasted the different foods them Trinidad and Tobago,” which tasted “good.”
Azaria Layne sported a fancy dress, while she explained that the white represented the sea, and that she learned about the steel drum.
Upstairs in grade two the students had eaten the Grenadian dish “Oil down” for lunch. National symbols were pictured across the room, along with the Prime Minister, and Grenada’s Olympic medalist, Kirani James.
Their class teacher, Juliette Alexander, who was dressed as a “Jab-Jab” and who is Grenadian by birth, commented that the children were excited because they had never been to Grenada, but Grenada could be brought to them.
From all accounts it seems that the students are excited to repeat the experience next year.