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Benjamin Franklin Elementary School and Gumbo LALA

The Website

The Gumbo LALA website is now complete. Visit it at

Open House

On September 26, 2000, we launched the Gumbo LALA project at the Benjamin Franklin Elementary School Open House.

The students sang a Creole French song, called, "Cher, mo lemme toi!" The 3rd and 4th grade girls wore tignons on their heads symbolizing the head piece that women of color were forced by law to wear in the colonial Louisiana to cover their beautiful hair. However, the pieces were so decorative, wearing them had little effect on distracting the attention of men and women alike. The boys wore chefs hats symbolizing the contribution of the talented chefs and cooks that are responsible for the wonderful legacy of Creole cuisine in Southern Louisiana. They are responsible for the Creolization of American food.

To read more about Creole cuisine and culture, we suggest the following books:

  • Creole Feast: 15 Master Chefs of New Orleans Reveal Their Secrets
    by Nathaniel Burton, Rudy Lombard (Contributor)
    available through
  • Creole: The History and Legacy of Louisiana's Free People of Color
    by Sybil Kein (Editor). Hardcover (August 2000)
    available through

Field Trip to Xavier

Several Xavier folks helped out when the BFE (all 120 of them) students and several parents deboarded the big yellow school buses to visit the campus for fun activities. Dana Green, Secretary in Languages, and two student assistants, Diana Pierre-Louis from Haiti and Ariel Howard from Baton Rouge sang French folks songs and danced with the BFE students. They practiced the French song that they sang at the Open House. The students had lots of fun with this activity. Dana, Diana, and Ariel did as well.

Two Xavier students, Troy Ageous and Alexis Graham assisted Center staff in the Computer laboratory as BFE students became familiar with Hyperstudio, kid-friendly multimedia authoring software.

Dr. Kathleen McCloud invited a group of students to interact with Xavier Physics students as they did experiments with cars and motion detectors.

Lester Sullivan, the University Archivist, gave a lecture on Creole culture and did hands-on activities with historic artifacts of the Xavier collection. The students were most appreciative of his animated discussion. His three forty-five minute presentations exposed the students to the treasures that are held in the archives.

The Summer of '00

Teachers from Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, involved in the Gumbo LALA project, wrote a design document for a web site that will be produced over the school year. The Students at the Center group also wrote a design document for their project's web site. Both of these documents are available through the CAT page on design documents.

Last modified: 06/17/2016 03:09 pm
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