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École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Anne Resonates with Sights and Sounds of Africa in Celebration of Black History Month

February 24, 2017, OTTAWA - Engaging activities abounded during École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Anne’s week-long celebration of Black History Month that ended on a high note with an Africa-themed cultural extravaganza on February 24.

Students and staff gathered in the gym to enjoy an African costume parade presented by students, dance demonstrations, tam-tam performances and gospel songs by the Rachetés de l’Éternel.

The mood was one of delight and fascination as students spent an afternoon celebrating African culture and learning more about African customs. This event was a fitting finale to a week spent exploring the significant contribution Black people have made to the Canadian community in fields ranging from education to science to business.

Throughout the week, students were treated to daily morning PA messages about prominent Black figures. The school also organized activities including the following:

  • Mass featuring African rites conducted by Father Papy Léonel Manengo of Notre-Dame-de-L'île church
  • A bulletin board display depicting a crown fashioned of black and white handprints, on which students wrote values and their countries of origin, encircling the Earth  
  • Art exhibit (African works of art)
  • Guest appearances by immigrants including a pastor, a servicewoman, a lawyer, a nurse, and a university professor who discussed immigration, integration and culture with the students
  • Films about historical figures such as Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.

“Diversity, inclusiveness and equality are among the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est’s core values, so it is important for schools to organize activities that raise students’ awareness of the Black struggle and their victories in pursuit of equality,“ said Johanne Lacombe, Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) Chair.  “We encourage this kind of initiative because it spotlights the mosaic of cultures and ethnic origins that enriches our schools immeasurably,” added CECCE Director of Education Réjean Sirois.

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