Lumumba’s Playground is an exciting half hour educational children’s television program that engages, educates and entertains based out of Washington, DC. It is a unique show, which focuses on the areas of Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Math (STREAM) skills for children ages 4 to 8. Lumumba’s Playground emphasizes a stimulation combination of curriculum intertwined with the multidisciplinary art forms of drama, music and dance. The fusion of these elements along with the use of poetry, are implemented through multi-media teaching and learning approaches. The cast consists of the following characters: “Lumumba the Lion” (Mascon Puppet), “Griot Naida” (the Teacher) and 8 children from diverse multi-cultural backgrounds. For 30 minutes, teachers, parents and children can escape into the world of creativity, imagination, fun and adventure that will capture their attention while learning basic skill and life lessons. Since the creation of the pilot, it has won a 2012 Telley Award.
Cherie A. Ward has been working in the fields of television, radio and film for over 20 years. A former Miss District of Columbia and representative in the coveted Miss America Pageant, her professional poise is enhanced by educational successes. She possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism and a Masters of Arts and Teaching Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Her certification as a Reading Specialist, coupled with frontline teaching experience within the District of Columbia Public schools, show her dedication to children, research and literacy achievement. Ward has completed her doctoral degree in Communication, Culture and Media Studies. Her doctoral thesis: “Using Poetry as a Communication Multimodality to Engage Selected African American Learners in Reading: A Case Study, is a way for her to continue the literacy discussion.Moreover, Ms. Ward has been a performance poet and published with the United States Smithsonian Hirshorn Museum’s Educational Department in reference to the art exhibits “Beauty,” “City Lights,” and “George Segal” to name a few. Finally, she self-published her first book of poetry, “Cherie Ward-One Voice: Empowerment Poetry Echoing Realities of Life.” The show was nominated for a Gracie Award. Ward believes each experience and interaction with others provides new opportunities for self-improvement and should not be taken for granted.
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