By Mitch Pascal, Principal, Tuckahoe Elementary School
This is the second year that my school, Tuckahoe Elementary, has partnered with AAH to support one of the outreach schools, Matuwa Primary. Our community has responded tremendously, and it has been so gratifying to know that we have provided assistance that has resulted in the building of Matuwa’s kitchen and library program. When we found out that Head Teacher Sarah and Phoebe from Arlington Junior School, whom I met when I visited Uganda last summer, were coming to Arlington, we were excited to have them see our school in action.
Coincidentally, Sarah and Phoebe’s visit came when Tuckahoe had already planned a “Uganda Day” for our school-wide assembly. Students and staff dressed in red, black and yellow. As a welcome for our guests, students made Uganda flags in art classes which they proudly held up and waved. Our music teachers taught all of our students a welcome song that they sang in both English and an African dialect, and our kindergarten students sang another welcome song they had learned. During the assembly I was able to share a letter from Head Teacher James at Matuwa, outlining some of the most recent improvements to the school. I also asked the students to share ways Matuwa had helped us, reminding them that our relationship is not simply about providing more for those who have less than we do, but also about having our lives enriched by what we learn about another culture and how others live. Other events that day included African games in PE classes and writing letters that we sent to our Matuwa friends. Sarah and Phoebe also toured Tuckahoe, visited classrooms, and spoke with our staff. It was a moving experience for all of us and helped us recognize how important our relationship with AAH and Matuwa is for all of us.