Nigerian Culture Day
1978 marked Nigeria’s 19th year of independence and AISL’s first Nigerian Cultural Day. It is celebrated under that name underlying the importance of our host country’s culture and contribution to the school community. Each year we pick a different region of Nigeria to focus on, and a committee of parents and faculty come together to create an event which showcases the region’s food, attire, music, stories, and history, and the AISL whole community comes together to celebrate. We invite dance troupes, local artisans, and guest speakers—including prominent Nigerian leaders and entertainment personalities—to immerse our students in Nigeria’s diverse culture celebrate the beautiful richness and diversity of our host nation.
Nigerian Culture Days! The traditional clothing, food, folklore, music, crafts...amazing.”
-Lynn Abercrombie, Student Support Coordinator, 5 years at AISL
International Day (Parade of Nations)
International Day is celebrated annually and truly depicts the rich diversity of our community. There is no other place in the world where 58 nationalities come together in such harmony, peace, and friendship. Students and faculty wear their national attire, share their culture’s food, music, and history, and the day ends with a parade of nations where each national group walks with the flag of their home country. This event showcases how fortunate we are to grow and work in this global community.
You get to meet so many different people. Each person has their own personality, culture, ethnicity, goals, likes, dislikes, and getting to know them all is amazing. I'm really glad I go to school here where everyone embraces their differences and still get along so well. AISL also has an "International Day" which is one of my favorite days of the year not because we have no classes but because you see so many people go around and show where they are from and how proud they are to be from there. it's absolutely beautiful and all this is why AISL is special.”
-Lara, grade 9 USA/Mexico, 3 years at AISL
NIGERIAN SCHOOLS CONFERENCE
Modeled after the American International Schools of Africa (AISA) annual conference, AISL’s NSC provides mainly Nigerian educators with a range of presentations, workshops, and job-alike sessions related to teaching and learning.
For years, over 30 AISL teachers, classroom assistants, counselors, technical integration specialists, and administrators host workshops on over 25 topics such as “Building a Positive School Culture” and “Google Apps for Education.” In addition, AISL community members facilitate job-alike sessions on subjects such as teaching at different grade levels, health and wellness, counseling, facilities, and child protection.
AISL’s first NSC conference was organized in the late 1980s by an elementary teacher who wanted to contribute to Nigerian education by harnessing AISL’s instructional expertise. At this time and for many years thereafter, the conference was free to attendees. However, economic realities necessitated that organizers find alternative financing. Fortunately, support has been forthcoming from several sources, by way of sponsoring participants.
AISL students have taken on numerous responsibilities related to the event. The student organization Citizens of the World (COWs) raised funds to sponsor 25 teachers from Kesham’s School, a Nigerian elementary school with which AISL has an ongoing relationship. Additionally, students served as ushers, photographers, technical support assistants, and lunchtime performers. While some students earned IB CAS credit for their efforts, most students participated simply to apply their skills in support of a worthwhile cause.
For many attendees, being invited to AISL’s campus and the NSC conference is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The school organizes breakfast, lunch, detailed programs, free Wi-Fi, conference totes, and a variety of donated product samples. These facets of the conference are welcome perks, especially given that many participants go through challenges and hardships in order to attend.
Responses NSC post-conference surveys are overwhelmingly positive. Nearly 100 percent of respondents rated the level of the workshops, organization, and facilities as “high” or “very high.” Common recommendations included more frequent events, greater publicity, longer sessions, and making presentation materials (slides) more widely available. This feedback underscores the value of the conference for participants, and it provides a range of ideas regarding how to improve.
The NSC conference has altruistic roots—it was originally organized as a means to “give back.” And, as the post-conference survey results indicate, it has been highly successful at doing so. At the same time, as with many charitable endeavors, its had an uplifting and unifying impact on the entire AISL school community.