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updated: 9/14/2017 7:13 PM

Drumming up a cultural experience in Libertyville school

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  • West African musician Fode Camara teaches students how to play African drums Thursday at Highland Middle School in Libertyville. Camara and Helen Bond of the Benkadi Project provided instruction on the drums as part of a cultural learning experience.

      West African musician Fode Camara teaches students how to play African drums Thursday at Highland Middle School in Libertyville. Camara and Helen Bond of the Benkadi Project provided instruction on the drums as part of a cultural learning experience.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Nicole Stefaniak, right, and Ana Zivkov play djembe drums as students learned to play African drums Thursday at Highland Middle School in Libertyville.

      Nicole Stefaniak, right, and Ana Zivkov play djembe drums as students learned to play African drums Thursday at Highland Middle School in Libertyville.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Students learn to play the djembe drums Thursday at Highland Middle School in Libertyville. West African musician Fode Camara and Helen Bond of the Benkadi Project provided instruction on the drums as part of a cultural learning experience.

      Students learn to play the djembe drums Thursday at Highland Middle School in Libertyville. West African musician Fode Camara and Helen Bond of the Benkadi Project provided instruction on the drums as part of a cultural learning experience.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Students learned to play African drums in the Learning Center Thursday at Highland Middle School in Libertyville. West African musician Fode Camara and Helen Bond of the Benkadi Project provided instruction on the drums as part of a cultural learning experience.

      Students learned to play African drums in the Learning Center Thursday at Highland Middle School in Libertyville. West African musician Fode Camara and Helen Bond of the Benkadi Project provided instruction on the drums as part of a cultural learning experience.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By Gilbert R. Boucher II
gboucher@dailyherald.com

Loud booms echoed through the hallways of Highland Middle School in Libertyville on Thursday as students learned to play African drums as part of a cultural learning experience and the school's "Highland Reads" summer reading program.

More than 600 students learned about djembe and dunun drums from West African musician Fode Camara and Helen Bond of the Benkadi Project, a movement to provide clean drinking water in Guinea.

"One of our driving goals of Highland Reads was to expose the Highland population to cultures and ways of life outside their own," eighth-grade teacher Carey Fox said in a news release. "To that end, the arrival of Ms. Bond and Mr. Camara connects student life to that of West Africa."

Over the summer, Highland students and staff read either "I Am Malala" or "I Will Always Write Back" as part of the reading program. While neither book is set in Guinea, they gave readers insight into French-African culture and the importance of fresh, safe drinking water, educators said.

The drumming presentation by Camara and Bond was part of a three-day residency in which they also visited French and science classes at Highland.

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