March 20, 2013
For Immediate Release
|Alpha Rwirangira, left, plays guitar and sings at Taylor County Elementary School. Dr. DeWayne Frazier, right, spoke of his adventures in Rwanda where Rwirangira is from. (Campbellsville University Photo by Elaine Tan)|
By Lucas Pennington, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.—Dr. DeWayne Frazier, associate vice president for academic affairs and associate professor of political science at Campbellsville University, and Alpha Rwirangira, a freshman student at Campbellsville University majoring in business and music from Rwanda, spoke at Taylor County Elementary School on African culture and about the book “Beatrice’s Goat.”
Before Frazier and Rwirangira gave their presentation, the Taylor County students read the book “Beatrice’s Goat,” which is a 2001 children’s story based on the true account of Beatrice Biira, an impoverished Ugandan girl whose life is transformed by the gift of a goat from the nonprofit world hunger organization Heifer International.
The picture book, written by Page McBrier and illustrated by Lori Lohstoeter, shows how the arrival of the goat sustains the family and allows Beatrice to achieve her dream of attending school.
Rebecca Pippin, librarian at Taylor County Elementary School, said, “I asked them to come because our students were participating in Heifer International’s READ to FEED. In this program students were challenged to read 600,000 minutes in six weeks. When they reached the goal, four local businesses (Traffic Jam, White Oil Company, Lake Village Furniture and State Farm Insurance agent Ken Keltner) promised donations to purchase animals to be given to families around the world.”
Pippin said, “The animals provide food and possibly a small business for the family. This allows the families to have healthy food and money to send their children to school.”
Frazier said, “I love the opportunity to speak in front of children and to inspire them to want to learn more. I personally have a special place in my heart for the people of Africa so being able to share with the Taylor County children about Central Africa and relate it to the book they read, “Beatrice’s Goat,” was important.”
The presentation was filled with information and was able to get the young children involved. The children sang along with Rwirangira as he sang songs in Swahili, including one they all knew — “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Frazier was able to share videos and photos from his own personal journeys to Central Africa, specifically Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The children also had the opportunity to learn some words in Swahili. They were taught how to say hello, which is hujambo; lion, which is siamba, and goodbye, which is kwaheri. Students were given prizes for listening and answering questions at the end of the presentation.
Frazier said, “It is important that we teach the next generation about giving, sharing and being engaged in the globalized world. Hopefully, through our presentation and music, the kids will want to learn more about Central Africa and discover how they can make a difference.”
Pippin said, “I wanted the students of Taylor County Elementary School to participate in Heifer International’s READ to FEED program to emphasize the importance of helping our neighbors around the world.”
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.