As a leading provider of authentic information on Africa, we take pride in offering the best child-centered resources on Africa. We are dedicated to serving the needs of teachers each and every day.
The author of this site, having traveled to Africa three times- the first of which was on a Fulbright Hays Scholarship to study in Zimbabwe, has developed a love of the continent beyond what you'll find on most other sites.
In addition to being a Fulbright Scholar, the author is a Golden Apple Award recipient, confirming her committment to excellence in education.
While her first degree is in Art and English, the author has a M.A. in L.D., and has recently completed an additional M.A. in ELL. Complimenting these studies, she completed post-graduate work in African Studies at Northwestern University.
This author has taught Africa in K-12 and university-level classrooms for 20 years.
**I am off to Egypt this summer. Watch as the Cairo, Giza, Luxor and Aswan/Nubia pages develop!
Bio of Jacki Lopushonsky, Web Site Author
Jacki Lopushonsky has 20 years of teaching experience at the K through post-secondary levels. Ms. Lopushonsky became the recipient of a Golden Apple Award, for excellence in teaching, while teaching students with behavior disorders, in 1994.
Prior to her career in the field of education, Ms. Lopushonsky served as writer, editor, photographer, event coordinator and advertising/merchandising manager for seven years.
Her last job in this field was as the Editor-in-Chief of Asian Imports, a monthly trade publication for importers. She moved into education to have a positive impact on today’s youth, especially concerning their world view.
In 1995 Ms. Lopushonsky received a Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad Scholarship, and traveled to Zimbabwe, where she studied and taught at nine K-12 schools, as well as at the University of Zimbabwe.
Five years later, she returned to Africa with her Fulbright colleague Mary Knepp. This time they started in South Africa, and traveled up through Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania to Kenya. While in Zimbabwe, the pair lived with teachers they'd visited during their subsequent trip. They took the train north to Tanzania and Kenya, experienced a three-day budget safari, and wound up on the scenic costal Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, just before completing their tour in Nairobi, Kenya.
Ms. Lopushonsky has served as a consultant or on a committee for “Teaching Africa” related projects at various public institutions. She prepared lesson plans on Africa for the Field Museum, serves on a “Teaching Africa” committee at Northwestern University’s Melvin J. Horowitz Africana Library (the largest Africana library in the U.S.) , and taught Chicago teachers how to “Teach Africa” at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. She has also written a curriculum guide entitled “Teaching Africa: Out of Africa and into the Classroom” for K-12 educators.
Ms. Lopushonsky taught African Studies at the middle school level for six years. While teaching in this capacity, she facilitated a district-wide South Africa-U.S. book exchange, for which hundreds of K-12 students wrote a book about their own life, culture, hobby or passion and exchanged it with eager students in South Africa. She also taught an ongoing unit in World Religions, promoting cultural/religious understanding to hundreds of 6th grade students who would grow up to embrace those who were in some ways different than them, instead of fear them. Ms. Lopushonsky served on her school's leadership and multicultural committees and wrote the Multicultural Committee’s newsletter. Additionally, Ms. Lopushonsky created, coordinated and ran a parenting skills class, attended by hundreds of district parents over a five-year period.
During this time, she trained teachers at three universities during the summer: National Louis, Elmhurst College and DePaul. She has an expertise in designing and facilitating creative, multidisciplinary classrooms and classroom and behavior management.
Ms. Lopushonsky returned to the continent as a missionary to train Ethiopian teachers in child-centered learning in 2008. After her ten educator colleagues left, Ms. Lopushonsky spent a week traveling to the historic sites of Axum, Gondar and Lalibela, and visited the rural home child she sponsors through World Vision during a three-day period spent in the Northern highlands of Dessie, in the Jile Tumuga, Woreda region.
Ms. Lopushonsky currently serves as a resource teacher for grades four and five in the DuPage area, just west of Chicago. She recently conducted research on the many benefits of combining ELL (English Language Learner) and students with Learning Disabilities by teaching such a classroom as part of her Master’s thesis project. Although the findings were all remarkable, and supported the combination of these two demographics in one classroom, the individual funding and legislation for the two populations come from separate sources, and complicate the matter considerably.
Jacki Lopushonsky is ready for a trip back to Africa, and is always on the look-out for organizations that would benefit by utilizing someone with her unique skill set and passion for Africa.
If you have read this far, I have a gift for you: I would be willing to help you research and create a unit on any African-related topic if you could use the assistance. It is my passion, what I do in my spare time. I would even be pleased to put together a content-specific slide show of my photos for any unit you are preparing.
Feel Free to contact me with any questions, comments, or inquiries via the "Contact Us" page.