There is never a dull moment in the classroom


During MLK week, I had the privilege to bring Mambo to a new school. As I walked into the library, a huge welcome sign immediately made me feel at home. I couldn’t wait to meet the kids who created a masterpiece for an author they were yet to meet.

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Author Gladys T. Kenfack visits Giddens School

As I excitedly waited for the pupils to join me for story time, I noticed something unique in this school library. The diversity of books from a cultural standpoint was purely amazing. Children’s literature from every corner of the planet was highly visible and accessible. What a special gift for Giddens’ students, their families, and the school! One class after another, the three Kindergarten classes joined me for story time. And each time, the following thought emerged: “Wow what a diverse classroom!” as the students and their teacher strolled in. They sat, eager to meet Mambo. For all classes, we read Mambo Goes to School, the second edition, revised with refreshed artwork and cover. My fondest memories of my visit at Giddens included:

  1. Kids are curious—and I love it!
    • One student had a priceless question: “How come there are no white kids in Mambo’s classroom?” —Did I mention earlier that this school is very diverse? This little girl was surprised that it was not the case for Mambo’s school. I briefly explained that in most of the villages in Cameroon, students in the classrooms looked like Mambo.
    • Do you have kids? I received this question during each reading session. The answer is that I have two adorable boys: a 3.5-year-old and a 15-month-old (Felix and Julian respectively).
    • Can I see your hair? Most of the time, the kids are just fascinated by my hat (yellow hat referenced in this blog post). This time around, they wanted to see what my hair looked like. So I offered them the treat to touch my hat, and I also took it off for them to see my hair. Then came a new question: “Is that your real hair?” (I almost choked at this point…)Then another question: “How long is your hair?” We nicely transitioned out of the topic and back to talking about Mambo.
  2. Diversity meets World Travelers I always use a world map to show where Cameroon is located. With such a diverse population, each student pointed out either the country they were from (we covered most of the continents) or pointed to a country where they have recently travelled or plan to visit soon.
  3. Wall covered in pictures and students’ stories During the 15-minute break between each sessions, I strolled the hallway to read the stories and admire the artwork that was displayed. Students from Pre-k through 5th grade shared why they loved Giddens so much—the devoted teachers, the trusted friends, the academics, the fun, the loving and caring staff, the playground, the activities…
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Mambo’s collection donated to the Giddens library.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, the entire Mambo collection was donated to the school library. I couldn’t be prouder of Mambo temporarily sharing shelf space with MLK. At the end of the day, I was refreshed and rejuvenated by this amazing school. What a delightful opportunity! I am thankful for a great host, the {Amazing} Assistant Head of School Teri Barnett.