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Celebrating African Culture

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Pioneer Charter School of Science II students plan Afrochella Festival for April 5; area schools invited


(Editor’s Note: The Pioneer Charter School of Science II issued the following press release this week.)


Students at Pioneer Charter School of Science II (PCSSII) in Saugus are gearing up for their biggest event of the year, Afrochella, a yearly gala celebrating African and Caribbean culture.

Led by the African Student Union, the April 5th festivities consist of a slew of activities leading up to Gala night, including a volleyball night, movie night, and a five-on-five basketball tournament. Each activity, including the Gala, raises money for international charities Mer in South Sudan and Sudan, Sisters Building Sisters in Congo, and locally in Lynn for My Brother’s Table.

The PCSSII student body and their families, along with area schools, will gather to celebrate their cultural backgrounds and learn more about each other through food, games, poetry, and dance. The night will also feature a photo booth, African Diner, African Family Feud, bracelet-making, a henna station, and prizes.

“We’re trying to build confidence in our school so that young people can be proud of their identity, proud of where they came from,” said Tajowk Deng, an eleventh-grader from Lynn. “We want to build that pride in our school and the student body to have something fun to do.”

Formed in 2022, the African Student Union aims to spread cultural awareness, inspire confidence, and raise money to give back. The group meets each Friday in person and holds online meetings as necessary. ASU President Adeyinka Olowu, an eleventh-grader from Peabody, notes that the group is dedicated, meets whenever necessary outside of class, and welcomes anyone within the African community.

“ASU feels like a family. I can rely on the people in the club,” said Olowu. “I have a place where I can be me, I can share my ideas and will be heard. We’re a community. We’re there for each other.”

The group has spread awareness about Afrochella through social media, fliers, and student word-of-mouth, with a bit of help from an email blast courtesy of the school’s Dean of Students.

Afrochella is on Friday, April 5th, at Pioneer Charter School of Science II in Saugus. It is open to the PCSS community, families, and schools in the area.

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