On Wednesday morning, March 2nd, Rebecca Cech gave a presentation about the Congo at Woodland Hills Middle School. In this podcast she talks with ESL teacher, Jessica Broski-Birch, who reached out to us on this site in hopes of finding culturally-affirmative resources for Congolese student, Japhet Mwamba, as he works to learn English, integrate into the American school system, and navigate the social rollercoaster of the early teens world. Rebecca saw in this request an opportunity to increase student awareness about a place that most of Japhet's classmates didn't know existed; by sharing some of her own childhood experience in the eastern, Kivu region, she taught them a bit about Japhet's country of origin and worked to build student appreciation for what the Congo has to offer in times of peace. Thanks to the 7th grade social studies teachers, 120 students got to attend the presentation; Jessica and Rebecca discuss how this event came about and review the results.
We will be posting a longer print story about the middle school visit in the next week with more details, photos, and a bit of Japhet's family story and how he got from Congo to Pittsburgh.
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