Poster created by Malagasy children at AnkomPalooza in Manantenina, Madagascar.

Poster created by children at the Chadwick School in Los Angeles, CA.

AnkomPalooza and Madagascar-California drawing exchange

By Lydia Greene, DLC researcher and Duke PhD candidate

Getting excited about the upcoming Lemurpalooza? We on the DLC’s SAVA team in Madagascar are sad to miss it, and so we held our own AnkomPalooza (Ankomba means lemur in Malagasy)! We threw the event at the local primary school in Manantenina, a village that sits close to the border of Marojejy National Park and whose inhabitants have been collaborators for years. Over 150 kids showed up and the school director and teachers donated their Saturday morning to help us out!

We showed 2 screenings of the “Lemurs of Madagascar” film, gave the students a lecture on lemur diversity, brought lots of art supplies and lemur pictures, held soccer games, took a break for snacks, and then had a lemur-fact competition to see what the kids learned that day. We passed out notebooks, art supplies, and t-shirts as prizes. Although the kids were shy at first, by the end of the day everyone was super excited to show off their lemur knowledge and we quickly ran out of prizes! We hope Lemurpalooza in Durham is an equal hit!

For AnkomPalooza, we partnered with the Chadwick School in Los Angeles, California. Chadwick’s students have been learning about lemurs all year, and there are definitely some future lemur researchers and conservationists among their ranks. Last semester, the Village School students created beautiful cards and drawings to send to students from Manantenina. At AnkomPalooza, we passed out the cards, hung posters we created from the drawings in Manantenina’s school classrooms, and asked the students from Manantenina to produce drawings for Chadwick’s students! There are some incredibly talented kids from both schools and we can’t wait to see more drawings from these students in the future!