American students perform Philippine folk dance, demonstrate martial arts in embassy visitLeckie Elementary School is one of schools participating in the Embassy Adoption Program (EAP) introducing Washington D.C.- area students to foreign cultures and exposing them to international perspectives.
Through EAP, the Philippines was chosen by the 6th grade students of Leckie – where many students come from military families — as the country to explore. The students studied Filipino culture, languages, and history for several months. For their culminating activity, the students, led by their teacher Travis Coleman, visited the Philippine Embassy on April 7 to showcase what they have learned about the country.
The students paid a courtesy visit on Philippine Embassy Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Minister Patrick Chuasoto. They made a presentation before embassy officials showing what they have learned about the Philippines’ geography, climate, language, history, culture, songs, festivals, and traditions.
They performed the dance “Magtanim ay ‘di biro,” a folk dance narrating the daily lives of Filipino farmers. They also did a basic demonstration of Filipino stick fighting, a form of martial arts.
“There are 3.4 million Filipinos in the United States which is a testament of the close ties between our two countries,” Chuasoto told the students. “I hope that in the future, you will also have the chance to visit the Philippines and experience for yourself everything that you have learned in this program.”
“Mr. Coleman’s class did a really good job and they had a lot of creative elements to their presentation. You can really see how much they have learned and how much the Embassy of the Philippines has shared with them about their country,” Trisha Taylor, EAP Education Initiatives and Curriculum Manager, Washington Performing Arts said after the program.
“The Philippines has been a really great partner for the past few years and we really hope that they will continue in the program,” she further said.
“The EAP is an excellent program that fosters global learners. My students were given first-hand experiences from the natives of the Philippines. Seeing my students engaged and absorbing so much knowledge from other cultures helped me to understand the need for the EAP,” said teacher Travis Coleman. “The program allowed my students to venture beyond a structured curriculum and engage in communication with people from a wide range of cultures, traditions, and ethnicities.”
Established in 1974, the EAP is a partnership program of DC public schools and the Washington Performing Arts.
The Nation’s Capital is where 177 foreign embassies are stationed for their proximity to the host country’s centers of power.