Teaching Teachers

Teaching Teachers

 The Mali Empire was founded in 1235 by Sunjata Keita. Timbuktu was the capital of the medieval Empire of Mali, a vast territory of West Africa, as large as the European Union, that stretched from the Saraha Desert to the ocean. Four hundred years ago, Timbuktu was a thriving trade city famous for the 25,000 students in its universities. Today, Timbuktu is the capital of northern Mali with a population smaller than the number of students in its medieval universities that made the city famous as a center of scholarship and wisdom.

 Every 3rd and 6th grade student in Virginia will learn about the Empires of Mali and Sonrai for the Standards of Living (SOL) requirement. Teacher re-certification workshops and in-school teaching are taught by storyteller Macky Tall (Dr. Robin Poulton) and teacher Lydie Sakponou in support of Virginia’s SOL work to assist and train Virginia’s teachers. We want to hear from teachers who wish to benefit from lively and cultural teaching.

In the past, we have organized seven exhibitions of Mali’s art, artificats, music, photos, teaching and storytelling, welcoming 25,000 students and teachers in Newport News, Richmond, McLean, and Harrisonburg. In 2005, the Virginia Friends of Mali set up an exhibition at the Richmond Public Library emphasizing the role of Timbuktu as an Islamic center of learning since the 1100’s and as the northern center of trade for the Malian Empire. The event was attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mali.

 VFoM wants to offer an exciting opportunity for institutional partners who want to offer credits to teachers in order to help educate Virginia’s students about African heritage. We bring culture and spirituality of Africa into Virginia’s education system. Our teaching responds to a need.


For more information and/or questions, please feel free to contact:

 Robin Edward Poulton, PhD.
(known in Mali as “Macky Haidara Tall”)
Tel:  +001 – 804 – 355 – 6821