On Wednesday, May 24th, Hot Spots students performed in a school-wide assembly at Forest Lakes Elementary School. This event was the culmination of efforts by students, teachers, Hot Spots facilitators, and Mr. Ssuuna, a Ugandan artist. The Hot Spots students spent two weeks with Mr. Ssuuna, learning a traditional African dance, which they were very excited to demonstrate to the rest of the Forest Lakes community.

Through Forest Lake’s partnership with Hot Spots Extended Care Programs, students learned more about the art forms of diverse cultures, and to appreciate the differences across cultures and communities. Teachers were also provided the opportunity to extend cultural diversity lessons through activities they could use in the classroom and send home with their students.

The Culture and Diversity event provided the Forest Lakes community an opportunity to come together to learn about Ugandan arts and culture, and how such understanding can promote acceptance, tolerance, and an appreciation of diversity. Forest Lakes educators, Hot Spots facilitators and Mr. Ssuuna himself came together to provide a variety of activities that supported the goals of the event, which included the Ugandan dance assembly, a presentation from Mr. Ssuuna on Ugandan culture and tolerance, an in-class activity where students invented their own dances to convey emotions and a take-home activity that allowed students to build their own Enwaski, a traditional African musical instrument. These types of activities reinforced the Forest Lakes team mission of promoting diversity and ending bullying by teaching tolerance of those who are different.

Hot Spots’ Partnership with Forest Lakes Elementary School

The partnership fostered between HSECP and Forest Lakes allowed the school to coordinate and implement a Culture and Diversity event that the entire school community enjoyed. This event provided staff, students and families an opportunity to experience diverse cultures through interactive and artistic activities, which in turn can lead them to value diversity and exhibit acceptance in their own lives. Mrs. Stevens, a Forest Lakes parent, said of the event: “Thank you so much for organizing the assembly. I didn’t get to see it but my husband did and he said it was fantastic! Maddie and Luke were so impressed by Mr. Ssuuna. He was really an inspiration!” 

HSECP Programs and Partnerships

Hot Spots Extended Care Programs offer elementary schools around Maryland the opportunity to further their educational and enrichment goals through our before and after-school care programs and partnerships. Our purpose is to aid students in the application of skills learned during the traditional educational day and to transfer and reinforce that knowledge using instructional strategies, hands-on learning experiences and digital learning tools. HSECP also provides schools with access to partners, within the communities in which they reside, in an effort to form two-way relationships that are rooted in goal alignment, effective communication and constructive group reflection.

We apply state and county quality data to enhance program services and assess enrichment opportunities. Why? Simply stated — because we want to help students achieve. If you are interested in learning about the opportunities that HSECP can provide for your school, contact us today!