By Tess Malijenovsky
On their visit to the Penn Center, Lady’s Island Middle School’s Junior Leadership class first learned about the rich culture of the area, then acted as young delegates to resolve states should preserve the Gullah and Geechee culture.
Ms. Ward led the class on a presentation of the Penn Center and showed the students an educational video about the history of the Gullah and Geechee called, “The Will to Survive.” The class learned about the agriculture and architecture of the culture from North Carolina’s coastline to Florida’s, and also about the present day struggles to preserve the land and culture for future generations to come.
Ms. Browne then facilitated an activity, in which the class broke out into four groups and wrestled with the scenario of distributing federal funds for a plan to preserve the Gullah/Geechee culture in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
The students decided that learning about and preserving the cultures’ language could be as simple as installing the Gullah/Geechee language on Rosetta Stone as they do with many other languages. They believe that it’s important to continue supporting and adding to the legislative bills that help preserve lands on the Southeastern seaboard that keep the Gullah/Geechee cultures alive. Students even decided they should be seated on the board of Penn Center, and why? Sometimes children can see the simplicity of a solution more easily than adults. Young generations of the future should be involved in the process of not only preserving the Gullah/Geechee culture and getting the word out to others who may not be familiar with the culture.
LIMS looks forward to its partnership with Penn Center. The young leaders of the visit include Joey Bates, Allison Brown, Jordan Camel, Kirsten Campbell, Logan Fancher, Haylie Garber, Ashley Hernandez, Brandon James, Bobby Jepson, Ashton Lancaster, Jakob Marsh, JaQuail Millidge, Daniel Mock, Madison Mullen, Bryce Richardson, Valya Shipsey, Sara Simpkins, Anna Smith, Mattie Jo Thomas, Melis Tirhi and Jordan Vance.