Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Sept. 26, 1997

Kuumba after-school program begins

by Anne Dolan

The Kuumba after-school program got off to a noteworthy start last week when students from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, joined the Kuumba students for an orientation session.

The Kuumba school, a weekly pilot project this year for K-6 students, is the brainchild of curriculum and instruction faculty members Carlie Tartakov and Karen Donaldson. They created the school as a prototype for multicultural, anti- racist education in a small classroom setting. Ten students from the University of Pretoria student taught for three weeks at Ames High School this month as part of an exchange program launched last spring by Donaldson. Last Wednesday, the two multicultural education efforts converged.

Graduating Pretoria senior Peter Bekker offered this advice to the younger students. "I've learned in these three weeks that different cultures see the same thing from different perspectives, sometimes the opposite perspective," he said. "It's OK to take the angle you like the best, but then also remember to turn it around and see it from that perspective."

Twenty students are enrolled in the Kuumba pilot program this fall. They meet from 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays at the Black Cultural Center.

Donaldson said she and Tartakov are working with a study committee from the Ames School District to develop a proposal for the state department of education to make Kuumba Multicultural School a full-time experimental school next fall.

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