Saturday, September 3, 2011

Afternoon Coloring Time

So, the kids who live on my compound love to write and color, but there's an almost complete lack of art supplies in Salémata, so they don't get the chance to draw very often. There aren't any art activities for the kids at the primary school, and many kids don't make it to middle school, when art classes start being offered. The Senegalese school system's curriculum is in the process of being reformed and I've been told that the administration is trying to include more opportunities for creativity and critical thinking, but it still tends to be pretty rigid, relying heavily on rote memorization in French, which, since people speak local languages in the home, is everyone's second language.   

In any case, a wonderful friend of mine from Camp Unalayee sent me a fantastic box of art supplies, and so one afternoon my host brother Mamadou (below, on the right) helped me wrangle the rest of my host siblings and some of the neighborhood kids while we made little drawing notebooks and drew and colored.

Kids were really into it, but it took a little while for most of them to think of things to draw. Several kids kept checking to make sure that they were really allowed to draw anything, and everyone thought it was really funny that no matter what they drew I said it was really nice and that they'd done a good job.

Mamadou is a really responsible kid and was doing a good job of helping the littler kids, making sure they didn't eat the crayons or lose the marker caps or draw on each other. After our informal art session I gave him a stack of paper and some of the markers and crayons and made him officially responsible for coloring with the younger kids.

Fatoumata Kindi was in charge of the big kids.
Littler kids drawing under the mango tree.

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