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The outside of the FedEx Global Education center with the sign out front. (photo by Donn Young)The African Studies Center (ASC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Oak Foundation for their project, “K-5 digital learning of contemporary Africa using technology,” which will produce resources for elementary school educators.  

The ASC will use the grant to create lesson plans and user guides as well as curated social studies, arts and music content focused on Africa that teachers can use in the classroom.  

“The strategy of digitizing up-to-date content in this pilot program will align with pedagogical best practices and the hybrid models of classroom-based and remote learning. By creating accessible, interactive, and current web-based resources, ASC’s outreach to schools will significantly increase,” said Ada Umenwaliri, associate director of the ASC. The ASC anticipates the project will be replicable for older students as it progresses. 

Founded in 2005, the ASC is uniquely positioned to improve knowledge of Africa and facilitate sustainable change that extends beyond North Carolina.  

“The ASC is committed to exploring the interconnected issues of political change, expressive culture, gender, sustainability, health and religion in Africa,” Umenwaliri said. “This grant will allow us to expand our work into local classrooms across the state and beyond. We expect that our efforts will lead to an increase in the knowledge and engagement of contemporary Africa.” 

The Oak Foundation is a global grant-making organization that commits its resources to addressing issues of global, social and environmental concern.

By Sasha Schroeder ’22, UNC Global

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