BMS Madagascar R-Villages Day Program Scheduled for Friday Morning, Oct 16, 2015
Rhinebeck, NY and Ranomafana , Madagascar have joined forces in R-Villages, a cooperative effort involving Rhinebeck Central Schools and Centre Valbio Research Station in Madagascar, along with Sunshine Comes First non-profit organization, SUNY Stony Brook. Zara Aina, a non-profit organization of theater artists working with disadvantaged children in Madagascar, and ENTA, an educational organization aimed at infusing content with the arts. Together, R-Villages is working to facilitate communication between our communities, support research and conservation efforts in Madagascar, and share experiences and cultural heritage.
Sponsored by Bulkeley Middle School and the aforementioned organizations, R-Villages has worked to create a dynamic half-day in school program for all of our middle school students.
Each grade level will be focusing on a different aspect of this cultural exchange. The purpose of the 6th grade program is to teach our children about the culture and biodiversity of Madagascar. Students will have the opportunity to speak with well-known anthropologists and Stony Brook doctoral candidates. Students will also be eating Malagasy food, interacting with real lemurs, playing Malagasy games and learning about the tradition and holidays of Madagascar.
The purpose of the 7th grade program is to provide our students with a more direct and meaningful exchange of ideas and cultures with the children in Madagascar, while enhancing their understanding of Malagasy culture and the biodiversity of Madagascar. They will be doing this with the help of Zara Aina, working to synthesize their knowledge through art, and sharing that art with Ranomafana.
The 8th grade students will be taking the program to the community through various service based projects including; teaching preschoolers about Madagascar, teaching dance to 2nd graders at CLS, doing an art installation in town and learning about economics through traditional papermaking. The idea behind this is to give our students a sense of purpose and the understanding that what they are doing is important and meaningful.