Celebrating Diversity in USD 475

Geary County Schools appreciates the diversity among our students and community.  The close relationship with Fort Riley brings a wide spectrum of people from all over the world.  The district takes every opportunity to celebrate and share the diverse cultures in our community and appreciates the opportunity to teach students about the different cultures of the world. 

Kenneth Upham, Principal at Fort Riley Elementary, created such an opportunity recently when he invited a dance and drum troupe from Senegal to perform for his students.  Mr. Upham has experienced the amazing display from this group before, as Principal of Morris Hill Elementary, and knew that they not only put on an incredible show, but they would also provide the students with an opportunity to learn about a culture from a world away. 

Oumar and his group do more than just dance and play the drums.  They expose students and teachers to one of the rich and historic African cultures.  They also do more than just perform.  Oumar’s group has an interactive performance.  They invite teachers and students to participate and learn traditional African dance moves, and they encourage the students to ask questions and move with the beat of the drum. 

Mr. Upham feels that this opportunity has many benefits for his students.  “Students learned about African geography, traditions, dance, dress, and music,” he says.  “They were extremely engaged with the presenters.”

Mr. Upham feels that not only is the experience educational, but it is highly entertaining. “The presenters did a very nice job interacting with the students. They shared information about Africa and the drums they brought. The dances and music were definitely a favorite with the students and staff.”