Cool Schools: Adhiambo School

Cool Schools

While Christmas is more widely celebrated around this time of year, there’s one school making sure Kwanzaa remains a tradition.

Adhiambo is this week’s “Cool School.”

Oozing with culture, the proud students of Adhiambo School continue a tradition created by an activist and professor in 1966.

“It was a time in which he felt it was important for black people to understand values, and come through a celebration to appreciate who we are, and directions for the future,” Principal Mahari Butler said.

The Kwanzaa program is filled with song, drum, and dance. It’s also obvious the students work hard to learn about the principles of the holiday.

Fifth grader Faith Malembeka listed the principles and their Swahili translations with ease, “Unity-Umoja, Kujichagulia-Self Determination, Ujima-Collective Work and Responsibility, Ujamaa-Cooperative Economics, Nia-Purpose, Kuumba-Creativity, and Imani-Faith.”

Kwanzaa begins the day after Christmas and lasts to New Year’s Day.

“You’re supposed to come away with something that is of true value, that you can live out through the course of the next year to come,” Butler said.

It’s not as widely celebrated as Christmas, but Adhiambo’s mission aligns with the holiday.  It’s why the nearly 40-year-old school hosts the annual program.

“Based on the philosophy that we have here and the reasons for which the school was put together, in order that we could help young children develop a sense of self-concept and self-esteem, a sense of motivation, being aspired learners. And Kwanzaa is one of those holidays that helps us to bring that all together,” Butler said.

“Here at Adhiambo, everyone seems like a big family,” fifth grader, William Larry said.


Remember if you know of a school doing something cool, nominate them for our “Cool Schools” segment. Just send an email to Your school could appear on our weekly segment.

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