After School Program at Fairfield Elementary School

Starting today sounds of drumming will be heard filling the hallways of Fairfield Elementary School once students are dismissed from their school day. For the second year in a row West African Cultural Arts Institute will partner with Fairfield to offer an arts educational program focusing on drum, dance, and culture from Guinea, West Africa to students grades 3-5.

This program offers an intensive look at Guinea's cultural arts through 19 hands-on, interactive music and dance classes, Monday-Thursday from 2:45-4:30 pm. It will include poly-rhythmic drumming, traditional and contemporary group dancing, call and response singing and other percussion culminating with opportunity to perform what they've learned for their families. The Culminating Event will also feature Fefafe, an authentic and dynamic group of professional Guinean performers who really raised the roof at last year's event with their powerful drumming, beautiful dances and songs and over the top acrobatics!

Thanks to a generous grant from the Fred W. Fields Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation and the Fairfield PTO, WACAI is able to offer this enriching program free of charge to Fairfield families. The Oregon Community Foundation's mission is to improve lives for all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. OCF works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds that support the community causes they care about. These funds support the critical work that nonprofits are doing across Oregon.

Providing this program for free is an integral part of its success because, according to principal Jenny Sink, "most of our students (88%) are identified as living in poverty" and having a fee associated program would prohibit many students from being able to attend.

WACAI will offer a comparable program at Prairie Mountain School in the fall of 2017 for middle school kids grades 6-8.