In May MRP Director Adam Rhoads visited preschool students at Dimensions Education Programs and shared with students a glimpse of life in Jamaica. Rhoads served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Jamaica from 2003-2007 and has visited the island several times since, most recently in 2017.
The visit started with a picture show of everyday Jamaican life and was followed by snack time featuring traditional Jamaican foods. Snack items ranged from commonly grown fruits (mango, watermelon, pineapple) to Jamaican snack staples bun and cheese, rock cake, bulla and plantain chips.
After snack, Rhoads talked with students about different toys and games Jamaican children play with. He explained that rural Jamaicans don’t have a Target or Walmart nearby to get the latest toys, and many children would not be able to afford them if they were available. Instead, children make their own toys and games from everyday objects. Students were provided with a range of materials and encouraged to make their own toy or game. Many used the materials to make Jamaican juice box racers.
MRP has several programs that provide local students the opportunity to celebrate differences and similarities between Jamaican and Nebraskan culture. This program aimed to help form new cross-border connections and strengthen current community efforts to reduce cultural barriers. The educational activities this program supports are designed to promote a better understanding of other cultures by Lincoln youth and provide them with Jamaican cross-cultural connections. This experience was made possible by a grant from World Connect.