Elementary students explore Native American culture

Elementary students explore Native American culture
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

TUCKERMAN, AR (KAIT) - Students at Tuckerman Elementary School were clapping to the beat of the drums.

Friday morning the fourth-grade students received a very unique visitor.

Allison Phelps, who is the principal of Wounded Knee School in South Dakota, made a trip to Tuckerman.

Pharis Smith, the principal of Tuckerman Elementary, said this was a rare and wonderful experience for their students.

"Just to see the difference between South Dakota Indian Reservation, to see the students there and the students we have here in rural Arkansas," Smith said.

In the past, they have set up Skype sessions where the students get to interact with each other.

"We ask questions about what they do during their school day," Smith said. "We talk about what we do during our school day. And, you know, at the end of the day they're still kids. They want to have fun and they want to learn."

Phelps said the experience has been very educational for the students in her school district, as well.

"It's been very exciting," Phelps said. "They get to learn about other cultures and other areas of the United States and how the children are just like they are. They all have the same interests. They love outdoor sports and activities. They have to do the same things. They have to learn reading, writing, and math and continue to improve. And they all have goals and dreams together. It's really exciting to see the commonalities. We are all from different areas and backgrounds, but we're all beautiful."

Phelps spoke to Tuckerman students about her school district, their culture, history and even demonstrated one of their dances.

"I just want them to learn," Phelps said. "We're all here together and we can make those connections across the world. And just to let them know a little bit about our history and our culture and what we can give and what we can do to help one another and our people and to help each other. Learn about each other's cultures and the richness and beauty. Because everybody's unique and everybody has talents and everybody has a background. So, just to share that and give that insight and let them know it's up to them to continue to explore those possibilities and learn more about each other."

"Education is important, whether you're in South Dakota or in Arkansas," Smith said. "You want your kids to have the best education possible."

Phelps also stopped in to visit with students in the Nettleton School District.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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