How Celebrate Africa at a Bronx School ‘Became More Than a Party’

Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School hosts regular events for its African families, one way the Bronx school tries to make sure immigrants are welcomed and served well. (Photo by Christina Veiga via Chalkbeat)

What started out as a Celebrate Africa party at Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School to engage African immigrant families has now become an event that happens every few months and has gone beyond just a cultural celebration.

Chalkbeat’s Christina Veiga described the first party, which took place two years ago, with a comment from parent Aboudoulaye Adizetou:

With African music blaring, teachers and staff served a warm meal of fried fish patties, and Senegalese chicken with thick slices of tomatoes and cucumbers. Flags from Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon served as tablecloths.

“Somewhere else, Africans are the last person they think about,” said Adizetou, who is from Togo. “But I think here, we are first.”

Celebrate Africa started as a way for the school to connect with families whose needs had largely gone under the radar.

Social worker Lyrica Fils-Aimé, who coordinates social services at Children’s Aid College Prep, describes how before, teachers appeared to have difficulty connecting with African parents. Find out how the school worked to address such challenges and how Celebrate Africa “became more than a party” in the full Chalkbeat story. There, also read why “Children’s Aid College Prep’s work with African families had an unhappy beginning.”

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