St. Maarten Carnival Foundation wants schools to participate in Carnival

POSTED: 09/7/11 1:23 PM

School tours to commence again

GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) issued a statement Tuesday encouraging all schools to “take the initiative in preparing a group of its students to participate in the Junior Carnival Parade for Carnival 2012.” They’ve also announced that they will resume school tours within short, to speak to students and educators about the importance of Carnival. The tour will stress “the inclusive learning experience for all children that Carnival provides.”
“With early preparations, the SCDF believes that the schools and parents have ample time to swing into action and involve their student body in the country’s largest cultural manifestation. More schools will be included in the school tours in an effort to relay that Carnival is more than just children dressing in costumes,” the organization stated in a release.
The SCDF believes that teaching children about Carnival in school will strengthen their connection with important aspects of their cultural heritage and with their homes and community.
“The SCDF is of the opinion that Carnival gives children of all ages the chance to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings through a variety of media. The imitative, creative and communicative processes that create culture are central to children’s learning,” the organization stated in its release.
“Regional and international studies point out that Carnival is important in developing children’s confidence as learners. Taking risks and trying out new ways of doing things is central to the carnival experience. It has been demonstrated that creative and cultural education can help raise educational standards. Children are certainly enthusiastic about Carnival and this excitement motivates them to learn and to discover new ways of learning.”
“Think about how involved you can get the children in costume making and the arts,” SCDF President Stuart Johnson, who is an educator by profession, said.
“This doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. It’s not about who has the most elaborate costumes, but about our children participating in the name of culture and the experiences they will take away from this participation. So we are looking forward to teachers and school administrations promoting this form of our culture and as SCDF we will support them and re-enforce their efforts through the school tours,” Johnson said.
Letters to all schools regarding the tour have been mailed and the SCDF will be meeting with the institutions soon.

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