THE INTER-MOUNTAIN - The Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College is preparing to kick off the annual kids summer classes in Augusta Folk Art for Kids Exploring Cajun Culture & Creole Week, running July 9 through July 14.
Children from kindergarten through the fifth grade will spend an entire week enjoying educational and fun activities teaching about Louisiana’s culture and history.
The week will focus on five topics, including teaching children about Mardi Gras, food, music and instruments, holiday celebrations and dancing.
Every day, the children will learn interesting history and French vocabulary words relating to each lesson, which will be followed by an art project or a field trip.
During the week, children will create a variety of traditional Cajun crafts, including making their own masks and capuchons, which are ceremonial hats, for Mardi Gras, dye and paque eggs, and creating husk dolls, making Acadian flags and also cooking up a special Cajun dish.
The week will also be full of engaging activities including a Mardi Gras run, a celebration of All Saints Day, traditional music and dance, allowing the children to be fully immersed into Cajun culture.
In the Mardi Gras run, the children will also go from class to class collecting money to fund the children’s art projects for the following year.
The classes will be instructed by musician Megan Brown, a former student at Augusta who learned traditional Cajun culture from her grandparents.
Brown’s first became interested in Cajun culture through her experience at Augusta in 2007, which inspired her to dive deeper into understanding and celebrating Cajun culture.
“The fact that there were so many people not from Louisiana learning our songs was unique and special,” Brown said.
Brown’s experience with Augusta at 18 years old started her passion for exploring and studying Cajun culture through Cajun music and the French language. Since then, Brown has played in multiple Cajun bands, performing nationally and internationally.
This will be Brown’s second year teaching children’s Cajun culture week.
Brown hopes that by the end of the week the children will gain an understanding of the holiday traditions and Cajun culture through the planned educational activities and crafts.
The Cajun Culture week is the first Augusta children’s class of the season. Registration is still open for the class until orientation on July 9.
The classes will run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 or 5 p.m., depending on the activities planned for the day.
Classes are still open for Cajun week for children, but are limited to a capacity of 15 students.
Early registration for classes is recommended by filing online at www.augustaheritagecenter.org or by calling the Augusta Heritage Center at 304-637-1209.